“That’s really important,” Schiller says, “and I’m so glad the team years ago set out to create Siri — I think we do more with that conversational interface that anyone else. Personally, I still think the best intelligent assistant is the one that’s with you all the time. Having my iPhone with me as the thing I speak to is better than something stuck in my kitchen or on a wall somewhere.”
Well, I reply, Amazon sees its Alexa voice interface not as something pinned to one device, but a ubiquitous and persistent cloud-based product that can listen to you anywhere.
“People are forgetting the value and importance of the display,” he says “Some of the greatest innovations on iPhone over the last ten years have been in display. Displays are not going to go away. We still like to take pictures and we need to look at them, and a disembodied voice is not going to show me what the picture is.”
Interesting discussion here. Last week I posted about the fact that voice assistant hardware shouldn’t be caged in a speaker. One of the points, that didn’t make it to the post was about whether or not we need such a device.
Visual Feedback is incredibly important, with voice assistants, and if you were to put a screen to your speaker, how far would it be from an iPad Mini. Even a Cozmo like solution is good for some feedback but not something like displaying images.
That being said, if I were to categorise Siri in terms of the tasks it did, one of the major chunks of it is about getting “information”. And something like How many cups is 20 ounces, doesn’t need much of visual feedback.
So, the question remains, would I still ‘want’ an Echo like device if Siri in my iPhone and iPad were to be as proficient as Alexa at accomplishing tasks, listening to my voice and providing proper context. And with AirPods, I could roam around and get that information without disturbing others in my room.
Link to my previous piece on Siri : Don’t Cage your Virtual Assistant in a speaker tower