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Voice technology and news apps

Voice technology and news apps

Apple's new Siri voice technology might have an impact on news consumption, Patrick Thornton wrote recently on Poynter.

Siri is type of voice technology featured in the iPhone 4S and its peculiarity is that, unlike older systems, it uses natural language processing. That means - the article explains - that instead of having to ask a precise question, users can formulate their queries in different ways and Siri is able to get the answer anyway.

"Rather than remembering strict commands, the language recognition allows us to speak the way we think without hesitation or frequent errors", explains Marco Arment, creator of iOS app Instapaper and former lead developer of Tumblr, quoted in the article.

So far Apple doesn't allow third-party apps to use the technology which is available only for built-in apps on the iPhone 4S but as the article says, this could change soon.

The point is that the use of Siri's technology could bring value to news apps, Thornton highlighted. The language recognition could for instance help people with physical impairments to better use apps. Cited in the article for example there is the Economist iPad app which allows built-in text-zooming and audio versions of articles.

"Users, for instance, could ask Siri to read the main story in The Economist aloud. Or they could ask, "What are the latest headlines from The Economist?" and have Siri read off the latest news. Users could then ask Siri to open up a particular story that they're interested in. Voice technology - Oscar Grut, managing director of digital editions at The Economist said - could also make it easier for users to leave comments on The Economist's website while on the go", the article reported.

Will Apple open Siri up?

Source: Poynter



Federica Cherubini


2012-02-15 18:37

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