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"Remind me to call my wife when I leave for work" - http://imgur.com/Y3Y3s His wife, geofence setup. Blows my mind.

"my wife" is Almost Certainly* explicitly flagged in his address book, either as an alias or through a "relationship" field. he didn't show you that part. (the same is likely true of the geofence, though a location-aware algorithm could probably do a better job inferring where your work is than who your wife is.)

* a term of art meaning "certainly"

I have no problem with that. This a great demonstration of what Apple does best - optimizing products to fit the needs of most users. Google already has the voice tech in place, but often fails to follow through on the usability front. A perennially annoying example for me is when I'm on the road somewhere, bring up Maps, and ask for directions from wherever-I-am to 'home'; it doesn't know where 'home' is. This is even more annoying, because there is a 'home' tag in Maps, but it doesn't get searched on. Likewise, there's no easy way to tell it that one person is my wife, another person is my business partner, a third person is my nemesis and so on.

Apple are leveraging a culture of paying attention to detail to overcome technical handicaps, but it's hard to quantify or A/B test that, and most firms aren't comfortable with a budget line item called 'magic.'

To add to the frustration, Google knows where "home" is for me, even without me telling - Latitude inferred it. Can't ask Google Mobile Maps for directions to home, though.

Note: if you are nocturnal and work at an office, Google will frequently decide your office is "home" and your apartment is "work".

For those rare cases, you can override the definitions on Latitude web site.

yeah. I'm just saying that the magic in the system is that it's a well-designed system with attention to detail, not that it's capable of leveraging anything approaching human intuition.

And when you leave the work radius at lunchtime with the cute coworker you're flirting with, you suddenly hear your wife over the in-vehicle bluetooth handsfree.

I wonder how many conditionals you can string together. "Remind me to call my wife before I leave work" is great, but "remind me to call my wife before I leave work at the end of the day, unless she calls me first" would be awesome.

> Remind me to call my wife before I leave work

Might be implemented as:

while (get_location() == work) { sleep(1min); }




time.h certainly got a lot more features since the last time I used it...

In reality none of this stuff is even remotely useful, because I can't even begin to guess whether or not a given command will be interpreted properly. Natural language is hard, and reminders need to be 100% reliable.

> Natural language is hard, and reminders need to be 100% reliable.

Indeed; hence Apple confirming its interpretation of the reminder with you before committing anything.

He didn't say it had a karma based interface...

According to the video, he said that Siri knew his wife's name from "a previous conversation". Which seems to indicate that Siri has some learning capability built in.

Out of curiousity, why on earth would you need to call your wife every time you left work..?

There is a such thing as one-time alarms.

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