Based on search history, emails, and location Google Now provides information before you need to search for it. It happens to have a voice activated interface available. I'd really like to see Microsoft do more than creating a voice activated app for setting alarms and searching yelp with Cortana. The screenshot looks promising and the author probably made the Siri connection himself so I feel hopeful.
"I hate you."
"Bring up Team Fortress 2"
"Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess? Or how about 'Pass the Hot Deadly Neurotoxin'?"
So, The Verge's article was submitted to HN too and got 4 points:
"OK, Cortana, show me how to get to Mars."
I remember using it on XP - it worked rather well. Both speech recognition and synthesis have significantly improved since then.
Check out this real-time translation of spoken English into written and spoken Chinese (in the same voice of the speaker):
If my Kinect experience is any indicator, Microsoft may not be starting from scratch, but it has a long way to go. Kinect voice recognition works well enough to trick me into thinking that it's actually going to work this time, and fails often enough that I feel like an idiot when I finally give up and pick up a controller. I think I'm just going to unplug the damned thing, as it serves no other real purpose for me.
> will "take the form of a circular animated icon instead of a female character." Aw, shucks!
> Here's a look at the program, courtesy of the aforementioned outlet.
Because I have noscript, what's "there" is nothing but firefox's circular animated progress ring.
In this concept, you decide whether or not the device even talks. With vibration, LED pulse, audio, and video at your disposal, who knows what kind of interface works best? We seem to desperately want a 7 of 11 or whatever from Star Trek. Personally, i like the way that computers and devices interact with me, especially when it is on their terms. I know it is developed and implemented by humans, but devices acquire character over time.
It will be driven less by "Star Trek" idealism and more by subtle attempts at applied social engineering. Effects like the mirrors they've developed in Tokyo which tweak your reflection to make you look happier because happier people shop more.
I think a device that purrs when you plug it in, makes a sharp whine when you drop it, and uses its vibrations to communicate subtle emotional reflections [buzzing for a little longer when you pick it up after down time, getting excited in the morning and over clocking just a touch,etc] will generate empathy and attachment to devices. The smart phone is uniquely capable of transmitting a number of emotional reflections through a number of ways. The voice element is so basic; an automated slave that you constrain to human speech patterns. I think looking at the device as a creature then building interactions from there.
One of these days, someone will build our dream Sci-Fi future. At any rate, Cortana is a good name.
In retrospect it makes complete sense.
I am not a big fan of moving everything to the cloud. What is point of having faster than ever smartphone and then being at the mercy of the cloud to open even a trivial apps.
(See you starside.)
The name Siri is Norwegian, meaning "beautiful woman who leads you to victory", and comes from the intended name for the original developer's first child. - (Wikipedia)
More seriously, the answer to your question is 'lawyers' (well they don't come up with them but they make sure they are trademarkable/protectable)
Also from what I have read, you don't need to start a sentence with Cortana to get its attention.
> Had Cortana come before Siri, saying Siri would now
> have sounded silly.