Siri is a speech-recognition computer application. It has both speech input and output, meaning you can speak to it, and it can speak back to you. You speak to Siri to ask it questions and give it commands, such as small tasks that you’d like it to complete. For example, ask Siri about the weather, and it will respond out loud with a short summary of the day’s weather report and on-screen with a snapshot of the five-day forecast.
Tell Siri that you need to schedule an appointment for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and it will add an item to your calendar, then confirm verbally that it has done so. Say you receive an incoming text message but can’t devote your eyes to the screen to read it; you can command Siri to read it aloud to you. Siri does not process your speech input locally on your phone. The software sends commands through a remote server, so you have to be connected to Wi-Fi or a 3G signal.
Here’s an infographic from the findings of University College London research on the use of Siri amongst 661 iPhone 4S users from 79 countries. beSirious.com is part of a user interface research project at University College London. This research is looking into how people actually use voice driven user interfaces and what they think about them.
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