Previous 1 2 3 Next 39 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2013 2:19 PM by jer16
Richard Nieves Level 1 (20 points)

Ok want to pick on the smart brains in a jar here..


There should be a better way for complete handsfree Siri requests. Pressing a button to talk, to me is "not there yet". I hope that for a not so distant future upgrade the iPhone be programmed so that the mic is active when the iPhone is not being used and a small background app scan or listens for a specific keyword or phrase to activate Siri.


A handsfree interactive session would be something like:


Human: - talking to other humans then suddenly says "Siri, can you help?"


The small program picks up the phrase and activates Siri (a much larger battery eating application).


Siri: "How can I assist?" (or anything else not corny)


Human: -whatever his normal request is...


See, no pressing a button and waiting several seconds for a response. If that happends, I hope Apple allows the customer have the liberty to program/customize any phrase or keyword he desires. Therefore the app can be of smaller footprint and easier to listen regardless of language, accent and so on. I imagine some of us will have something like "Computer" in a Star Trek kind of way or "Mother" like in Aliens or "HAL 9000"... You guys get the point.


Sadly, many customers will not use Siri much because of the pressing the button and waiting for Siri to come up thing. - Lazyiness? well yes! That is what technology is all about, making us lazy... Wall-e anyone? Remember the humans in the Axiom Starliner?


The iPhone is the future... Actually, I don't think the name iPhone pays tribute to what it really is.


What are your thoughts on all this?


What would prevent a mic from being active all the time?


Would you prefer to use the button instead?



iMac 27, Mac OS X (10.6.6), MacBook Air, iPhones, iPad, Time Capsule, etc...
  • paulcb Level 6 (19,110 points)

    An active mic all the time?  Siri asking "can I help" all the time?  Using processor all the time?  Using more battery?


    No thanks.

  • Rothrock Level 4 (1,450 points)

    From the videos it looks like once the Siri interface is up and running it continues to listen and doesn't need the button press.


    And in general I'm with paulcb, continuous listening is likely to be a battery killer. And I think you would need to be able to change the name of your assistant. Otherwise in a room full of phones it would be chaos.

  • antmeeks Level 1 (0 points)

    Personally Richard, I think you're right on the money.


    AI needs to listen in the background until summoned by a key voice command, not a physical interaction with the device.


    I expect that as the technology develops and the hardware improves, that's exactly where it will go.

  • Thanksforplaying Level 1 (0 points)

    Software is garbage anyway, dont believe what you see on the videos apple put out. I have the phone and its just like any other voice command software out there. Having to speak loud and clear. Apple said Siri will "understand what you mean, not just what you say" Its crap, im not happy with this program at all, just a waste of space

  • Jonny Apple Seed Level 1 (20 points)

    it's far from perfect, but the technology is getting better all the time.  It's the second largest team at apple attending to just making siri the best human to machine interaction available.  this is the future...


    with that said, I think there should be a way to keep siri active and listening with a key word, even if it takes a one time manual interaction to launch software.  once activated, it should be totally hands free.  i've found i need to continue to press buttons, whether from background noise hijacking the experience, or similar.

  • Johnathan Burger Level 6 (15,845 points)

    I'm with you.

    Waste of resources.

  • Robert Grandmaison Level 1 (30 points)

    I agree with the OP. Ideally it would be wonderful if we could have the best of both worlds...what if Siri knew when she was plugged into my car's USB ports and battery drain wasn't an issue, that she would listen for me to call her up with the word "Siri?" and I wouldn't need to either worry about using my hands to press a home button while driving OR wearing out my battery while needing her when my hands must be used elsewhere.


    I spend a lot of my time with my iPhone very nearby a power source and have to agree with the OP there as well. It is the future and it IS much more than a phone. It really should be called something like an "iConnect" because that's really what it does as a device. It connects you to your family/friends/ connects you to communities, local and global and to data either personal (my music and documents) or impersonal (census data, statistics, etc.) all via the WWW.

  • Johnathan Burger Level 6 (15,845 points)

    Whose guarding your bridge while you play on the Internet?

  • Robert Grandmaison Level 1 (30 points)

    I'm sorry- I had no idea the Internet was ONLY for play. I thought that perhaps it might be useful, and perhaps even safer, to send email or iMessage purely handsfree- or ask Siri (eventually) something like "Siri, what's the toll for the bridge up ahead that's being guarded by responsible, professional, courteous and helpful guards?"

  • lyricon Level 1 (115 points)

    Cool idea. Siri gives us a taste but the hardware still isn't up to the task of constant and very selective listening. I find the "raise to ear" method pretty close to what you are talking about. Press the power or home button to light up the phone and bring it to your ear. Keep it there through the while interaction and you hear Siri through the ear piece. Take the phone away and the voice comes from the speaker again. You can press the voice dial button on a Bluetooth headset too for the same result.

    Siri on the iPhone is new tech. As its on other devices. It will get better over time. I for one am glad to be able to use it in the current state. Would hate for the developers to wait till the have it perfect and we are all dead and gone.

  • Robert Grandmaison Level 1 (30 points)



    I agree. It's the initial release of such a wonderful tech. But I'm already putting it into real use and practice. I've used Siri to set appointments and  reminders as well as having her read incoming messages to me so I don't have to mess much with the phone. I've also used her to give me info as I need it. She's particulary good about things like:


    How many days until Christmas?

    What time does the sun set tomorrow?

    Set a timer for ten minutes.

    Show me my appointments for tomorrow?

    When date does daylight savings time end?

    What does a weasel look like? (had to throw that one in because of the commercial AND it is a cute weasel)


    The more I use her, the more I like the tech. She's like having a savant nearby who, while she may miss the meaning and context from time to time, is often spot on and helpful with the lookups- saving me hassle and time. And it's nice to get quick, easy answers to the many questions one has during the course of a day- especially through what at times seems to be a communicative robot.


    I think there will come a day when people will laugh about having physical or virtual keyboards on a mobile device and will look back at it from the future like we do wax cylinders for recording sound. I think Siri is the start of that.

  • Jonny Apple Seed Level 1 (20 points)

    if you activate siri one time with physical interaction to initiate software, the software will remain active by simply putting it up to your ear.  It's a setting in the general system preferences under siri.  not useful in all situations but still a cool feature.

  • Robert Grandmaison Level 1 (30 points)

    The only problem I have with "raise to talk" feature is that here in California, that's a sure fire way to get a ticket for improper and unsafe cell phone use while driving. If Siri were constantly listening while plugged into my car's USB port I wouldn't have to lift it up to my ear, nor would I have to worry about battery drain.

  • Jonny Apple Seed Level 1 (20 points)

    i see a software update coming soon to adding this preference in system preferences. 

Previous 1 2 3 Next