Now that Apple is making Siri the focal point of its iPhone 4S, the competition is going to have to catch up and Google is reportedly baking its voice-control response under the code-name “Majel,” according to a report from AndroidandMe.
Why Majel? Well, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry was the proper name of the voice of the computer in Star Trek and along with being ultra geeky, it fits into the general approach Google has to voice control.
“Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer,” Google’s Matias Duarte said in an interview with Slashgear.
It’s an interesting approach and one you’d expect from Google. The AndroidandMe report said Majel will likely first only include search results but it will eventually provide an extremely-beefed up Google Voice Action experience.
While I generally think that this is the right way to tackle this issue you have to wonder if the lack of a personality may be a negative. While Siri doesn’t always work as it should, it’s somewhat quirky answers led to a rash of funny posts about sh*t Siri says. More importantly, Apple’s approach in general creates more emotional connections with the user than Google has been capable of and I fear Majel may be another example of that.