Friday, 4 May 2012

Samsung demos S Voice, a Siri-like natural language interface for the Galaxy S III


The demonstrations from Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked 2012 are still rolling, but it’s clear that Samsung wants to emphasize S Voice, their Siri-like “advanced natural language user interface”. It appears to have a similarly deep integration, allowing users to send messages, play music, manage your calendar, etc., using natural language voice commands. It doesn't talk back to you with the same degree of personality as Siri, but one interesting new feature is you can also wake the Galaxy S III from sleep mode by telling it to wake up.
To wake your phone you can either use the preprogrammed phrase (“Wake up Galaxy”) or program up to four of your own phrases. We imagine it’s only a matter of time before this becomes something of an internet meme, with entertainers and enterprising YouTubers coming up with humorous phrases to wake their phones with. Or conversely, accidental awakenings when your custom phrase comes up randomly in conversation.

We expect Samsung’s new voice language commands to once again raise questions about whether or not they are simply copying Apple, but Android in general and the Galaxy S II in particular have had voice commands since long before Siri - the real competition here is integrating natural voice interaction to make these complex devices accessible to people who are less technologically inclined (and to everyone while they are driving…).  

We fully expect to see many more such systems in the near future, but at first blush Samsung seems to have produced a robust and successful voice control system in S Voice.