I what now?
I like the idea of not having to press a button to activate voice functions. Having to use your hands to activate hands-free operation always struck me as counterproductive and a little strange.
I don't mind the phone listening for me to say the activation phrase. If a security agency listens in on me, they'll have no one but themselves to blame for what they hear.
What would be REALLY cool is if I could set my own activation phrase! "Hello nice Siri Lady!" in one's best Jerry Lewis vocal twist (Professor Frink for those of you too young to remember Jerry), or "Make it Siri Number One" in a Patrick Stewart British accent. Wait, no, "Open the pod bay door, Siri!"
A lot of similar technically incorrect comments in this thread.
Obviously "Google" would not be listening all the time. That would use impossible amounts of storage, comms and battery.
Instead, the phone itself would be dumbly comparing microphone waveforms for a match to the key phrase, "Okay Google Now", before activating real listening for the followup command.
I wouldn't even be surprised if this was done using a very low power dedicated voice command processor --such chips have been around since the late 1970s -- that only knew that single phrase. That's the way I would do it to conserve power. Let the main CPU sleep. (Or possibly do it in the broadband processor code, since it's running all the time.)
It's 4.65" - 4.7" but the exterior dimensions are very similar to the iPhone 5. Same height but a little wider. Quite impressive really. It means Apple can do the same thing (If they ditch that terrible massive physical home button).
A reddit reader had the phone over the weekend and posted a bunch of pictures and videos. It's pretty much confirmed.
I think those articles might be confused by the way the ad says, "talk to it and it learns your voice", which is what both Google and Siri do over time.
If the special wakeup phrase requires any training, it would likely have its own immediate special setup. I haven't read anything (yet) about the phrase being customizable, have you?