Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

Summary: Apple is reportedly prepping a voice system dubbed Assistant in the iPhone 5. Can Apple make voice recognition cool?

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Voice recognition and commands have gone so mainstream that you can't call any company without first talking to some robot. Meanwhile, voice commands are found in your car---Ford Sync---phone via Google voice search and other areas.

What has been missing is that emotional appeal and the mainstreaming of voice technology?

Can Apple change that? 9-to-5Mac is reporting that Apple will include an iPhone 5 feature called Assistant that's based on its Siri acquisition. Assistant goes like this:

  • Hold down the home button for a couple of seconds.
  • Say or pick a command.
  • Voice is integrated with all the apps of the iPhone. You can send a text, make an appointment, ask for directions and do other handy things.
  • The integration is supposed to be the big selling point.

Once you think through this Assistant feature---some early reaction is that Android already does a lot of this, but it's not integrated throughout the phone---the long-term question is whether Apple makes voice technology cool.

Let's face it: The technology from companies like Nuance Communications is stellar. Yet, the implementation of that technology is just missing something.

Apple can change all that with the iPhone 5 and some cool commercials. Can you forge an emotional attachment to your assistant, the cousin of that annoying robot you deal with on customer service calls?

Add it up and there's a big race to voice computing interfaces. It's going to be fun to see what company winds up making voice technology something your mother will love.

Related:

Topics: Telcos, Apple, Emerging Tech, Enterprise Software, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, Software

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17 comments
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  • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

    The only parts missing in Android voice are parts that are easier to do through touch anyways. Voice-to-text and voice commands are ridiculously accurate with Android. I just hope that Apple's new voice is a thousand times better than it is right now, because it's quite pitiful to be honest right now.
    Aerowind
    • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

      @Aerowind It's one of my few gripes with iOS - and I'm hoping that it is not one of those "iPhone 5 only" features... or that it can be added to an iPhone 4 via jailbreaking.
      athynz
  • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

    I've been using voice commands on my WP7 since it launched and am excited about the expanded voice contoll coming this week in Mango.
    clcrockett
    • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

      @ccrockett@...

      Using Mango, I just told my phone to text to a friend, dictated the message and sent it.

      Look Ma no hands ;-)

      Nice if Apple could catch up.
      tonymcs@...
  • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

    I don't think Assistant will be available at launch because the iOS5 did not have those features even listed.
    m3kw9
    • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

      @m3kw9

      I suspect they'll be there when they announce it and the phone. In fact, I bet Apple will show off other features as well.

      The first demo was to keep their name in the press while they were later then usual with their release.

      This and improved notifications will be very welcomed.
      maskman01
      • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

        @maskman01
        If Apple do it then expect Samsung to quickly follow.
        global.philosopher
    • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

      @m3kw9 As I recall Apple never discloses all of the features prior to release... and it could be an "iPhone5 only" feature as well.
      athynz
  • Apple bought Clippy?

    and gave it a voice?

    Holy vocal crappola!!!!!!

    :D
    rhonin
    • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

      @rhonin Apple actually had a demo in the early 90s of something like this. I guess they finally figured out how to make it truly effective.
      Rick_Kl
      • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

        @Rick_Kl On today's iPhone, holding down the Home key brings up Voice Control which lets you control music and place phone calls. Assistant sounds like an expansion of Voice Control to other apps--maybe all compliant apps--plus a voice version of what the marketers called "Newton Intelligence". On the Apple Newton, you could write "lunch with Smith Friday" and it would pop up a pre-filled meeting dialog for you to OK. But the futuristic demo you are thinking of is probably the Knowledge Navigator video, which, last I checked, was available on YouTube.
        NotPaidToSayThis
  • languages

    In what languages will Apple releazse this feature?
    IE11
  • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

    "some early reaction is that Android already does a lot of this, but it???s not integrated throughout the phone"

    That's completely inaccurate. The functionality exists throughout the entire device and through 3rd party applications if they so choose to include it in their app.
    yu119995
  • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

    Another feature apple copying from android? Not again, ahihihi
    lolobabes
  • RE: Apple iPhone 5's 'Assistant' feature: Making voice command cool?

    News Flash! I hate to bust anyone's bubble or excitement for the new iPhone 5, but this assistant feature is not new. This feature is already on the iPhone 4. I have a feeling that all Apple is doing is releasing a clone of the iPhone 4, with updated software. So far, I haven't seen anything earth-shattering new that isn't already on the current device. If you don't already have an iPhone, then of course these things will be new all the way around, but to those looking to upgrade, save your money, your energy and your time. Of course we won't know for sure all of the things that are "new" until it's officially released, but I just have a sinking feeling that this release is going to be a big disappointment. I hope it won't be, but my gut feeling says that it will be a huge disappointment.
    Gadget Girl
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