As an automated society we work like machines in our everyday lives. For some, each morning routine consists of waking up, jumping in the shower, throw down some breakfast as your putting on your jacket and then either drive, take the bus or train into work. Because we’re in a state of frenzy from the time we wake up until we get home, our personal handheld devices become a saviour to ensuring that we don’t miss a step. Up until now, the only way to get information from one place to another was physically inputting these details such as your next dentist appointment, texting your mom that you won’t be home for dinner or looking up how many ounces are in a pound for your favorite cookie recipe. With the help of Siri, iPhone users get to control their daily task lists with the sound of their own voice.

Siri is available on the iPhone 4S and utilizes all the apps installed on your phone to best accommodate your requests. All you have to do is be you. That is, talk as you would ask a person to do whatever task you want them to do. So you don’t feel like a complete robot, Siri talks back to you. Here’s a snapshot of what your screen can look like with Siri:

The first line is what you’ve told Siri to remind you about and of course below that is when the message was delivered.  But it’s not only a message delivery service or handy reminder list app. You can dictate and order Siri to text your friend you’re “running late” or ask “where is the best burger joint in Toronto”. Siri finds these answers from the web with sources like Yelp and Location Services as it searches where you are and how to get you to where you want to go. Aside from the ‘nice to have’ features on the Apple site about Siri, the video showcasing the application in action really solidified it’s practicality and finds a broader audience than your usually tech savvy consumers. In the video, a snapshot of how Siri can aid a visually impaired individual is for me one of the best realistic benefits of this service yet. Since those individuals rely heavily on their voice as communication, Siri helps to make their daily interactions run smoothly by reading out their messages and asking questions that only require a simple Yes or No answer.

Set reminders, send a text and even ask what the weather will be like in a different city, Siri has all your answers. Don’t leave social media out as you can update your status or send out a tweet without tapping feverishly on your phone. Siri is not perfect and will ask you questions if it doesn’t understand what you’re saying, but overall understands your natural speech. Traditional voice recognition software utilizes keywords and needs you to speak specific commands.  Siri just needs to hear your voice. What more can anyone ask for?