Apple looks to debut Siri SDK at WWDC, developing Amazon Echo competitor

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2016
Five years after Siri launched with iPhone 4S, Apple is reportedly preparing to open its virtual assistant platform up to third-party developers through a dedicated SDK, and might dive deeper into AI services by embedding the technology into a speaker type device similar to Amazon's Echo.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Information on Tuesday said the move comes after years of internal back-and-forth as to how best open Siri up to the app development community. Since launching in 2011, Siri has been relegated to a largely closed ecosystem, allowed only a handful of app integrations from trusted Apple partners like Yelp and Google.

Apple hopes to have a working SDK ready for developers by this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the report said.

Software details were unavailable, though Apple's SDK is expected to come with basic query-answer requirements like a generic search term box that would be populated via Siri's voice recognition module. For example, a user might request a taxi service by telling Siri, "get me a ride home," which could trigger an Uber reservation.

As for Apple's Echo competitor, the publication said development on such a product began well before Amazon launched its smart home product with Alexa virtual assistant software last year. A simple piece of equipment with a speaker, microphone and internet connectivity, the rumored device is said to integrate with Apple's HomeKit protocol for controlling various smart home accessories. Siri integration would also grant access to internet queries and first-party iCloud services including Calendar, Contacts, iMessage, Mail and more.

The race to find an ideal smart home solution appears to be heating up as tech giants like Amazon, Apple and most recently Google put their considerable weight behind in-house initiatives. Following a promising initial release, Amazon's Echo line expanded in March to include the entry level Dot and a portable system called Tap. Google last week unveiled its own voice activated home device capable of playing music, answering internet queries, managing schedules and controlling connected accessories.

Despite starting early with HomeKit, Apple has been less aggressive than competitors in rolling out first-party connected home products. That would most certainly change if and when the company launches a dedicated device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 447member
    Awesome. Love that Apple is finally opening Siri up. As for the Echo competitor, I'd definitely buy one, Just started getting into home automation (ecobee3, some hue lights) but have been waiting for Apple to drop something that would bring it all together and make it "just work". Hopefully this is the product.
    jahblade
  • Reply 2 of 52
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 598member
    great news....DED wrote in one of his articles recently about the idea of using the technology in a beats pill....I would like to see it in another form with the Apple branding...maybe in the form of a Tim Cook bobble head (kidding of course)
    edited May 2016 calipatchythepiratejahblade
  • Reply 3 of 52
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    I'm baffled. Why couldn't Apple integrate those functions in the Apple TV? Doesn't make sense.
    revenantjbdragontallest skil1983jony0
  • Reply 4 of 52
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 598member
    clemynx said:
    I'm baffled. Why couldn't Apple integrate those functions in the Apple TV? Doesn't make sense.
    If someone wanted one in their office, kids bedroom, or where there is no tv, it just provides more functionality being mobile
    repressthisjony0jahblade
  • Reply 5 of 52
    repressthisrepressthis Posts: 395member
    Before a select few commenters call foul if the device is not a souped-up Apple TV, ponder the obvious: what price point would this mythical Apple TV hit when you need to include a loud speaker, multiple microphones, maybe a glowing light, and other relevant tech? Surely it could not be kept at $149. Wouldn't the additional tech price the Apple TV out of the market? I believe so.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 598member
    I wonder if it will considered a "SMASH HIT" if Apple sells 3 million units in 18 months like Amazon gets credit for? hmmmmmmm

    Get ready for what always happens: Apple brings awareness to a category and boosts its competitors numbers...wonder when Fitbit will clone this and make Homebit?
    edited May 2016 patchythepiraterepressthisbadmonkjbdragonjahblade
  • Reply 7 of 52
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,142member
    I can see myself buying one of these, especially if it has strong integration with homekit and perhaps some home automation HW from Apple. 
  • Reply 8 of 52
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,698member
    Before a select few commenters call foul if the device is not a souped-up Apple TV, ponder the obvious: what price point would this mythical Apple TV hit when you need to include a loud speaker, multiple microphones, maybe a glowing light, and other relevant tech? Surely it could not be kept at $149. Wouldn't the additional tech price the Apple TV out of the market? I believe so.
    I would see it as a cheap extender of an apple tv.  The apple Tv would give it extra functionality, and act as the hub for homekit and as an iTunes/photos server.  The apple Tv could not do this now. in fact apple are probably stupid enough to require a mac to be running and consuming power to properly operate these.  
    calirhonin
  • Reply 9 of 52
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    NY1822 said:
    clemynx said:
    I'm baffled. Why couldn't Apple integrate those functions in the Apple TV? Doesn't make sense.
    If someone wanted one in their office, kids bedroom, or where there is no tv, it just provides more functionality being mobile
    Sure they should make a portable version, but why not include these functions in the Apple TV that just launched and that supposedly took so much time to be developed? It's a missed opportunity. 
    cali
  • Reply 10 of 52
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Before a select few commenters call foul if the device is not a souped-up Apple TV, ponder the obvious: what price point would this mythical Apple TV hit when you need to include a loud speaker, multiple microphones, maybe a glowing light, and other relevant tech? Surely it could not be kept at $149. Wouldn't the additional tech price the Apple TV out of the market? I believe so.
    It's a shame because it multiplies the number of devices in our homes and I don't want even more stuff. Where is integration? 
    cali
  • Reply 11 of 52
    redstaterredstater Posts: 49member
    "The smart home space is heating up as tech giants like Amazon, Apple and most recently Google put their considerable weight behind in-house initiatives." Sure. Right. Google launched their IoT strategy in 2014. That was when they launched voice-driven wearables and smart TV/TV box products and oh yes paid $2.3 billion for Nest. It didn't get off the ground because Samsung and LG went their own way with their own IoT platforms; Samsung's based on Tizen and LG based on webOS (renamed lgOS). Then Google tried again by launching an IoT platform based on a stripped-down version of Android called Brillo and an API called Weave. That was slightly more successful, as Google's go-to gadget company Asus, Kwikset and a couple more companies have Brillo/Weave gadgets launching this year (a door lock, a smart bridge and a Wi-Fi chip). Speaking of Wi-Fi chips, Google's OnHub routers (built by Asus) run ChromeOS. LG, playing both sides of the aisle, committed to trying their hand at Brillo-based appliances this year in addition to their own platform, because their lgOS based devices haven't been as successful as Samsung's (insecure and hackable) Tizen ones. So considering that they bought Nest (who also owns Dropcam) and launched other products as part of their IoT strategy before Apple even announced HomeKit, saying "most recently Google" is ridiculous. Google's "most recent" development is merely adding a competitor to Amazon Echo to their platform. Incidentally, I always find it humorous that whenever someone else launches a product or feature after Apple, that player is accused of "copying" or "infringing" but when Apple is the second (or third or fourth) to the party, there are always claims that "Apple was researching our own product before the competition launched theirs." So ... right. The device launched nearly 2 years ago. How long does it take to put iOS in a speaker? When you have already been making iPods for 14 years and iPods have run iOS sincd 2007!!!. At the very most this was an idea that Apple considered but mothballed only to revive when other companies demonstrated that it was a good idea. Nothing wrong with Apple coming out with their own speaker because Apple was known for great audio even before the iPod, but feeling the need to claim "no we were first REALLY!" just diminishes the #1 company in the world.
    gatorguymorrolan
  • Reply 12 of 52
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,349member
    Gads, more @internetofshit. I've got Siri right here on my Apple Watch, and it is hardly ever useful. Much of the time it responds with "continue on iPhone." Well, if I wanted to do that, I would have started right there. 

    About the only thing I can see Siri useful for is where you simply can't look at a screen. And that is available in CarPlay.

    Siri has been around for 5 years? Gotta say it is one of the more disappointing Apple products I have. 
    calirhonin
  • Reply 13 of 52
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 598member
    clemynx said:
    NY1822 said:
    If someone wanted one in their office, kids bedroom, or where there is no tv, it just provides more functionality being mobile
    Sure they should make a portable version, but why not include these functions in the Apple TV that just launched and that supposedly took so much time to be developed? It's a missed opportunity. 
    I disagree...I think it has more appeal and more potential to generate revenue being separate. But only time will tell...now we wait. If someone already has a different TV other than Apple TV, you are now excluding most of them as potential buyers...if someone has a Fire TV they may be more inclined to purchase Amazon Echo bc their logic would be "why do I need another tv when I have one". You and I may see the benefits of Apple TV over others but the mass population might not...
    edited May 2016 calijahblade
  • Reply 14 of 52
    Isn't that portable Siri device already in your pocket (and soon to be on your desktop or laptop)? Do you need another device sitting around in your home?
    caliemoellerrepressthisawilliams87
  • Reply 15 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,583member
    AppleInsider said:
    Since launching in 2011, Siri has been relegated to a largely closed ecosystem, allowed only a handful of app integrations from trusted Apple partners like Yelp and Google.
    ;)
    morrolan
  • Reply 16 of 52
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    eightzero said:
    Gads, more @internetofshit. I've got Siri right here on my Apple Watch, and it is hardly ever useful. Much of the time it responds with "continue on iPhone." Well, if I wanted to do that, I would have started right there. 

    About the only thing I can see Siri useful for is where you simply can't look at a screen. And that is available in CarPlay.

    Siri has been around for 5 years? Gotta say it is one of the more disappointing Apple products I have. 
    I use Siri for dictation and that's about it. I have to say I am not very enthused about home automation. I think I prefer my home to be as dumb as possible. There is something reassuringly immediate with mechanical solutions like light switches.  There are so many devices in this house it is a struggle to keep up with general ios / OS X / wifi management sometimes. 
    eightzero
  • Reply 17 of 52
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 598member
    Can't wait for the market share articles on units sold...this is going to be nauseating considering no company will break out their numbers...
  • Reply 18 of 52
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,349member
    Isn't that portable Siri device already in your pocket (and soon to be on your desktop or laptop)? Do you need another device sitting around in your home?
    A rhetorical question for sure. Fairly, my iPhone is hardly ever in my pocket at home. But my Apple Watch is always on my wrist. Nevermind how unhelpful Siri usually is, but the lag time is just a deal breaker. Flick your wrist, and speak to it like you would a person. Nothing happens. Now you repeat yourself, and wait 10s. Then get told go look at your iPhone. Yuck.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 438member
    Isn't that portable Siri device already in your pocket (and soon to be on your desktop or laptop)? Do you need another device sitting around in your home?
    Exactly!
    awilliams87
  • Reply 20 of 52
    eightzero said:
    Isn't that portable Siri device already in your pocket (and soon to be on your desktop or laptop)? Do you need another device sitting around in your home?
    A rhetorical question for sure. Fairly, my iPhone is hardly ever in my pocket at home. But my Apple Watch is always on my wrist. Nevermind how unhelpful Siri usually is, but the lag time is just a deal breaker. Flick your wrist, and speak to it like you would a person. Nothing happens. Now you repeat yourself, and wait 10s. Then get told go look at your iPhone. Yuck.
    I have to agree, Siri needs A LOT of work. It has a hard time finding you an answer, so much so, that I use it less and less.
    eightzerorhonin
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