While Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are used by a variety of devices, Siri was previously reserved for Apple products. But this year the Cupertino company decides to open up to the outside world. In fact, during the WWDC conference that began Monday, the company announced the launch of Siri for third-party home automation products.
During his keynote speech, Apple gave a demonstration in which Siri is used by an Ecobee thermostat. However, at the moment we don’t know exactly what types of products Siri or all of the brands involved can use.
Either way, Apple’s goal is to enable you to interact with the voice assistant from more devices in your home. The company also promises that you will have the same level of privacy protection as if you had interacted with an Apple product.
In a press release, Ecobee announced that its SmartThermostat with voice control will be the first product in its category to use Siri.
“We are pleased to integrate Siri into the ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control and to offer Apple customers a smoother experience throughout the house. With every further development of our products, we hope to improve the lives of our customers with devices that bring even more comfort to everyday life. Today’s announcement brings that promise to life by giving our customers new ways to interact with our SmartThermostat through Siri, ”said Stuart Lombard, founder and CEO of ecobee.
Siri will no longer be there
Apple now claims more than 600 million devices using Siri every month. And the Cupertino-based company is likely hoping that number will increase significantly thanks to the emergence of third-party products.
The market for voice assistants is highly competitive. And when it comes to integration with third-party apps and products, Apple lags slightly behind Google and Amazon because of its strategy of engaging the user in the Apple product and service ecosystem.
In terms of artificial intelligence, Apple has just caught up with Google by announcing the local processing of voice commands for iOS 15, a function that the Google Assistant has been offering since … 2019.
Currently, if you ask Siri for something, your recording will be sent to Apple’s servers where it will be processed by a speech recognition algorithm. However, starting with iOS 15, this processing takes place on your iPhone, so Apple no longer has to send your voice to its servers.
There are two advantages. The fact that your recordings are no longer being sent to Apple’s servers is an added guarantee of respect for your privacy. In addition, since the recordings no longer need to be transferred over the Internet, some commands are possible on the iPhone even when it is not connected. For example, you can ask Siri to change a setting or turn on dark mode even when your iPhone is offline. And finally, local treatment is faster.