One of the most awaited moments of this year in iOS10 was launch of SiriKit. While virtual assistants and chatbots are common today, Siri was one of the first of its kind when the iPhone 4s was launched way back in 2011.
Since then others have also evolved their own AI namely Google Now, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. While Siri computes its responses server-side, Apple’s commitment to users’ privacy has prohibited the company from collecting user data at any meaningful scale for many years, making Siri slower to evolve than its competitors.
Now, Apple has turned to its expansive and active developer community to give Siri the legs it so desperately needs. Enter SiriKit, a new developer framework that will allow users to interact with certain kind of apps. Through Siri users can voice their needs to instruct iOS system to accomplish routine tasks.
Launch of iOS 10, has also led third-party apps to integrate inline with the Siri voice assistant. Siri influenced significant cost benefit to voice enabled apps as it spared the developers to come with their own set of voice control modules.
Sirikit is a new iOS developer framework that lets users to integrate third party app’s content and services with the system. This allows Siri’s voice inputs to easily control application’s behavior and extend functionality of the smartphone OS.
In iOS 10 Siri offers support for several third party apps. Siri could be plugged into many third party applications like – Apps for messaging, VOIP calling, mobile payment, photo search, ride booking and workout.
Sirikit framework allows you to implement third party application extensions. The framework also supports Intents and Intents UI that assists communication between the app and the system. In the framework, Intent signifies the type of tasks a user can perform and the way in which they are handled.
Siri handles all of the natural language processing required to turn spoken requests into valid data in an intent object. Interactions are managed with Intent extension to understand a user’s input, and to fulfill their request. SiriKit APIs then fetches the most appropriate response and directs it to the Siri interface.
Siri accepts voice inputs and queries to help you accomplish certain tasks done. Like placing a phone call, reading an email, book a taxi service, reserve a table, load pictures and download apps. Siri integrates with external apps and services to provide users with assistance in their personal and social lives.
Often user utter queries like “What movies are playing today?”, “Load my pictures of the trip to Chicago”. Siri responds with replaying of the command that it inferred and loads the matching result. It also assists in routine tasks like “Wake me up at seven in the morning” or “Call Bob at work”.
Now you can even book an Uber ride through Siri to travel from the source to destination. Once you install the Uber App, you could invoke Siri by long pressing the home button or with a voice command like ‘Hey, Siri’.
Once the Siri is loaded and is all ears, you simply say – “Hey Siri, take me home in uberX”. You could even voice commands like “Hey Siri, Book me an Uber ride to hanging gardens”. Siri responds with time it will take for the driver to reach you and the approximate trip fare.
Uber App also lets you view driver information and a map that traces your cab. Finally the app prompts you for ride confirmation and Voila! your cab is ready to pick you up.
Likewise messaging apps like Whatsapp and Skype use Siri voice commands to voice or video call contacts in your list. You could even voice command to share a named media image or video from the gallery and read out messages.
Now we have voice-based interfaces which has extended the functionality of the mobile apps for better and improved user experience. Many on call cab services like Uber and messaging apps like Whatsapp and Wechat have enabled support for Siri.
Many technologies and smart devices are also gearing up to incorporate Siri based voice commands to remotely control the connected products. This convenient man to machine led interaction is expected to witness more innovation in the time to come.
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