We know that the upcoming WWDC conference will be all about Apple’s software platforms – with no iPhone 5 likely until Fall – and some drips and drops continue to leak out about what we can expect from iOS 5.0. A new report suggests that we will be seeing some strong Siri voice recognition technology baked in to the new version of the iPhone platform.
Apple purchased Siri last year and TechCrunch says that the Siri team has been working hard on the next version of iOS. If you never used Siri, it was a personal assistant that used you voice to do things like book a table via OpenTable or locate tickets for a movie or concert.
The voice recognition technology is good but this isn’t like Google trying to understand everything you’re saying with Google Voice. Siri worked well because it only needed to draw from a finite set of words and actions and much of its magic was also integrating with the back-end of third parties, like OpenTable.
What does this mean for iOS 5.0? We’re not quite sure yet but you can be darn sure that the next iPhone will be easier to control with your voice. I don’t think we’ll be seeing baked-in dictation like Dragon but we’ll be seeing more useful voice controls.
I think the iOS 5.0 could have things like voice controlled AirPlay functionality. Imagine just saying what you want played on what device and it happening “automagically.” If nothing else, this will help Apple create some compelling commercials.
The move comes as iOS is actually behind the competition when it comes to voice control, as Google Android is doing some incredible things and even Windows Phone 7 has some neat stuff that’s controlled by your speech. I do think this type of technology will eventually be just as important as a touch interface, so let’s hope Apple brings the goods.