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IOS 5 to feature Siri voice activated personal assistant app?

IOS 5 to feature Siri voice activated personal assistant app?

Speculation is mounting that the next update for iPhones and iPads will feature Siri’s voice command technology to turn Apple kit into a voice activated concierge, after an email was sent out to press types offering facetime with the company that helped develop the tech.

Acquired by Apple in April last year, Siri uses SRI’s advanced voice recognition to enable smartphone users to make bookings, such as reserving tables at restaurants. It also allows consumers to speak aloud questions regarding amenities in the vicinity and returns the information and recommendations in spoken form.

Rumours that the technology will feature prominently in OS 5 first surfaced last month. And today, they were lent further credence when received a none-too-cryptic mail courtesy of the Jones-Dilworth agency, who handle PR for SRI. That’s the company that developed the tech that makes Siri tick.

Although they’re careful not to spill the beans or confirm that they know that Siri is a part of IOS 5, the mail offers interviews with the movers and shakers behind SRI “in case that something is indeed announced”.

Here’s the mail in full:

As you know, there are rumors flying that Apple will be demoing iOS 5 with Siri inside next week.

In the case that something is indeed announced, we'd be happy to get you in touch with the folks at SRI behind the core technology that made Siri possible – i.e. Norman Winarsky/VP of SRI Ventures, Gary Morgenthaler at Morgenthaler Ventures, and Sean Carolan at Menlo Ventures.

Truth be told, we're not entirely sure what is going to get announced next week, but consider us “on deck and ready” if you need anything on a quick turn — deeper dives and/or comments on the history and future of virtual personal assistant technology, thoughts from SRI’s Norman Winarsky on what other tech augmentations they see coming about in the next 5 years, etc.

Of course, what might actually translate into for iOS 5 isn’t yet known. But given that it’s been over a year since Apple bought out Siri, there’s ample scope for it to have been improved in the interim.

However, if the future development for Siri outlined on its site is anything to go by, we could be looking at a service that you can “trust…to manage many personal details in your life - from recommending a wine you might enjoy to managing your to do list”.

The WWDC event, where Apple will finally lift the lid on its latest, greatest OS, is scheduled for 6pm UK time. In the meantime, here's the existing Siri app in action:

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