Siri, Apple’s highly touted voice recognition feature exclusively available with the iPhone 4S isn’t a homegrown feature. Though Apple prefers to develop its own technologies, it sometimes recognizes that a particular feature lies outside its area of expertise, or would, perhaps, take far too long to begin working on from scratch.
In such scenarios, Apple will occasionally by an outside company and incorporate its technology into Apple’s core offerings. Such was the case with Siri which was purchased in 2009, and whose roots can be traced all the way back to the Stanford Research Institute.
Interestingly, Apple’s implementation of Siri is markedly stunted compared to what the original Siri iPhone app (pre-Apple ownership) was capable of. But that tends to be par for the course with Apple who would prefer Siri accomplish a few tasks expertly rather than being able to accomplish a slew of tasks with spotty precision. That said, Apple’s implementation of Siri today is relatively limited, but more importantly, it works. As such, users will trust the service as Apple will inevitably extend its functionality out into new and exciting areas.
But some folks just don’t have the patience to wait for Apple to add more features and decide to take it upon themselves to add a little bit more shine to Siri.
Case in point – developer Brandon Fiquett who recently managed to hook up Siri to his Acura TL. Yep, forget about using an old-fashioned key to start the ignition, Fiquett rigged a system whereby he can tell his car to turn on.
Now this hack isn’t for everyone as it requires some coding skills in Ruby and PHP, but it doesn’t seem all that complicated either.
“When Fiquett asks Siri to start his car,” Gizmodo writes, “his iPhone sends a message to a proxy server hosted on his own website. From there, the server sends a message to his Acura, which is fitted with a cellular-connected Viper Smart Start system. Bingo: the engine turns over, and Fiquett looks like the mac daddy.
As well as merely starting the car, he can pop the trunk, lock and unlock it, and — perhaps most importantly if he’s just showing off — stop the engine, too.”