Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus talks Apple HDTV and more

Fri, Nov 11, 2011


As the flasgship feature in the iPhone 4S, Apple fans are curious as to what other plans Apple has for Siri down the line. While Apple has made it clear that its voice recognition personal assistant won’t be coming to older iOS devices ever, some have hinted at an upcoming Apple HDTV with built-in Siri functionality.

Interestingly enough, Siri founder Dag Kittlaus (who does not work for Apple) falls into the same camp, claiming that Siri will not always be an iPhone exclusive and that Apple will produced a Television set with Siri support by 2013. Previous reports have claimed that Apple will introduce such a set in 2012 ahead of a 2013 launch.

Siri, which branched out of the Stanford Research Institute, was founded by Kittlaus (who used to work for Motorola) along with Adam Cheyer, Tom Gruber, and Norman Winarsky back in 2007. The Siri venture culminated in an iPhone app and soon upon its release, Apple came a’knockin.

Of course it was a great moment when Steve Jobs called and wanted to buy my company. It was surreal. When I heard that it was him, I knew we had made it big. In advance, we were pretty confident that the technology we had developed was so startling that we would get some kind of breakthrough. Steve was the first caller.

Apple paid 200+ million for Siri with the bulk of that booty going to Kittlaus who for a short time helped Apple get Siri up and running on the iPhone. Kittlaus ended up leaving Apple this past October to be closer to his family in Chicago and to explore other opportunities.

Siri in Norwegian means “beautiful victorious counselor”. Urban legend has it that Kittlaus named the Siri app after the famous Norwegian meteorologist and business woman Siri Kalvig, with whom he had worked during his tenure at Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company, while she worked for meteorologist company Storm. “It was a good collaboration, because I am a total weather freak”, he said.

In reality, Kittlaus wanted to name his daughter Siri, but he got son so he instead named his company Siri .“Our first child was going to be named Siri, but then we got Markus”.

Despite living in a beautiful brand-new villa in a suburb of Chicago, funded by Apple’s cash, Kittlaus said he realized during his tenure at Apple that money and profit is not what drives the California consumer electronics giant: “It is the desire to create a fantastic product.”

via 9to5Mac



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