Apple's breakthrough voice recognition user interface for the iPhone 4S is already being perceived as a game changer, and it would appear Apple is not going to stop there, as the company looks at including the Siri assistant across its range of devices.
Already Siri's team of engineers is the most prominent in Cupertino, and the recent announcement that Apple is looking to bring in more specialists and engineers to help Siri grow suggests voice technology implementation is only at the beginning.
One of the Siri job posts requested applicants with a “passion for the Macintosh platform”, while another of the recruitment ads explains that Siri should be considered "an entire miniature OS within the OS..." This choice of words implies that in the future, Siri will have to be responsible for more tasks than handling a few quick requests on the iPhone.
Analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners believes the next all-in-one computer could integrate Apple TV-like functions, allowing iMacs to stream video and other content to Wi-Fi enabled TVs.
Apple TV, as Steve Jobs himself explained, will have a radically new "simplest user interface you could imagine", which a number of pundits expect to incorporate Siri. Putting the two things together, you can see how the voice technology may soon be heading to the Mac also, particularly for those content-focused apps like iTunes, iPhoto etc.
But Siri is for more than just dictation, it is also intelligent; Jonny Evans of ComputerWorld gives some examples of how one might use the voice assistant in a future version of Mac OS X:
"Computer, open Word and Mail, I'd like to email Sam the document I was working on at three O'clock last Tuesday afternoon. Can you arrange that email for me, I'd like to say, "Hi Sam, here's the document you requested for review, all the best, Jonny."
"Computer, could you open Safari and visit the BBC news website? I'd like you to read the headlines for each story, and read me the whole story if I ask for it, before returning to the headlines."
"Computer, I'd like you to download the new Skrillex album when it is released next year."
"Computer, I'd like for you to translate this message from English into Chinese for me, I'd like you to write the message into a Word document, save it and print it."
"Computer, at 3pm next Tuesday please could you launch Final Cut, open up the 'Robot X' project and open the audio controls for the fifth clip on the Timeline."