Mark Gurman’s latest for Bloomberg is mainly about Apple working on an Amazon Echo competitor that may or may not materialize, but I was fascinated about this bit near the end on the roadmap for Siri:
Beyond the home device, Apple is researching new ways to improve Siri on iPhones and iPads, two people said. With an initiative code-named “Invisible Hand,” Apple hopes to give users the ability to fully control their devices through a Siri command system within three years, one of the people added. Currently, the voice assistant is able to respond to commands within its application, but Apple’s goal is for Siri to be able to control the entire system without having to open an app or reactivate Siri.
For example, a user would be able to ask their iPhone to open a web page and then share it with a friend without the need to ever launch the Siri interface. Other examples from Apple’s current research include being able to print a PDF by speaking “print” while reading it or saying “help” in order for the system to help the user navigate a particular task or application. Apple has also been researching opening this ability to third-party apps, the person said.
First of all, if there’s a codename creepier than “Invisible Hand,” Apple hasn’t found it yet. More to the point, though, this seems like a natural evolution of Siri, and also seems like it would be a powerful boon to those looking for a more accessible iPhone.
The whole piece is worth a read, and certainly seems to support the hypothesis that a Siri-powered speaker is in the making—even if it might not find its way to market.