Apple’s voice recognition technology, Siri, is a great example of how our interactions with mobile devices and technology in general are changing. We’re moving beyond just the touch screen to other sorts of interaction.
Apple has made specific hardware updates to support their voice control feature, Siri, in the iPhone 4S. An infrared sensor is able to determine the user’s proximity to the device and adjust it’s function accordingly. Siri also takes advantage of massive processing power of the cloud to take user requests and better process them.
While talking to our devices is a natural extension, we are quickly going to see our phones reacting to visual input. Our phones are going to watch us with their cameras and respond to gestures we make in the air rather than on screen. As imaging processing gets more advanced we’ll even see our phones reacting to subtle facial expressions — our phones will know what sort of mood we’re in and adapt accordingly. They’ll even be able to understand the environment around us by combing visual, position and other sensors.
The intelligent assistant of the future is coming and it’s going to be a lot more than just voice recognition. Our devices may end up knowing us better than we know ourselves.