Siri was inspired by a Defense Department project, almost became an Android staple

The Huffington Post has a fascinating article about the history of Siri. While many remember the iOS app that kicked off the Siri revolution, many people don’t realize that the app had its roots in a Defense Department-funded project called CALO for a Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes. The project was developed in the non-profit SRI (Stanford Research Institute) International research lab, which contracted with DARPA.

Siri was founded by Dag Kittlaus (CEO) from Motorola, Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering) from SRI, and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design). Shortly after launching in the iOS App Store, the company was close to signing a contract with Verizon that would put the Virtual assistant on every DROID-branded handset. This deal fell through when Apple swooped in and scooped up the startup company.

The Huffington Post piece is a long story that chronicles Siri from its CALO origins in 2003 to its current iteration in Apple’s iOS 6. If you have some time to spare and enjoy technology history, it’s definitely worth a read.

[Via The Huffington Post]

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