A couple of interesting Siri hacks have come to light over the few days. One that connects Siri to the most advanced thinking machine known to man (the human brain), and the other to a pretty cool old Mac 512K computer from 1984.
Duane Cash is the Senior iOS Architect at Honda R&D and he claims to have connected Siri to his mind, using a brainwave-reading device.
Mind-controlled Siri test
Mind control, like voice control, once sounded incredibly futuristic but is a technology that is increasingly coming online. Cash uploaded this video of his mind control virtual assistant to Vimeo, and his results are pretty impressive.
In the video cash starts by speaking to Siri, then switches to concentrating (and showing a serious concentration face) while pointing to the iPhone when he hopes it will react. The iPhone does react, of sorts, by opening a map, closing a menu and then opening a menu.
Siri responds with its usual voice feedback, although the iPhone interface does look completely different. It displays a large blue button with text appearing underneath.
Cash includes the following note:
"Hello, my name is Duane Cash. I am an iOS developer working on the project to produce a mind-controlled virtual assistant on the iPhone.
This is a one of my initial tests using a brainwave-reading device to control some custom Siri functions on a iPhone. For the first speech recognition segment I wave my hand over the device to activate Siri. During the next portions, I use mental commands from the EEG signals to commands the iPhone to open a map, open a menu and close a menu with voice feedback from Siri."
Website 9to5.Mac points out the possibility of this video being a fake, it's typically easier to fake this sort of technology than it is to create it. Having said that, Cash's position at Honda lends considerable weight to his credibility.
Siri hooked up to Mac 512K
Meanwhile Niles Mitchell has taken Siri in the opposite direction, connecting it to some seriously old tech in the form of a Mac 512K computer. The Mac 512K was the first Apple computer to include networking in the form of Apple Share
"The Mac 512K has always interested me," Mitchell writes on his blog. "It was basically identical to the Mac 128k, the only difference being the RAM. However, that RAM difference opened it up to a few things that 128K couldn't do. One of those things was file sharing on a AppleShare network. Granted, it was only as a client, but still the door was open."
He has used the networking features of the Mac 512K to talk to all kinds of different devices, but by far the most interesting are these videos of the Mac 512K talking to Siri on an iPhone.
Mitchell gets Siri to send an email based on dictation, and request directory listings. All on a computer released almost 30 years ago.