If you thought the idea of using your voice to control your smartphone was neat, just wait. One developer has hacked Siri to allow it to control third party devices, starting with his WiFi-enabled thermostat.
In what he says is his first-ever Ruby project, St. Louis developer Pete Lamonica set up a proxy server in order to effectively trick Siri into thinking it’s communicating with guzzoni.apple.com, the server on which Siri’s functionality actually happens. Developers can write their own custom handlers for various actions. In this case, Lamonica uses Siri to get a reading off of his thermostat and then change the temperature.
As more household devices get Internet connectivity, one can only imagine the possibilities this holds. The prospect of a Siri-controlled television set and other Apple-built products is exciting enough, but this hack blows the feature’s potential wide open. It’s a bit like when Microsoft’s Kinect game controller was first hacked to do things other than play video games on the XBox 360.
Microsoft embraced the Kinect’s customizability, releasing an SDK for developers to use. Now there are countless uses for the Kinect, which may well prove to be a substantial part of the future of how humans interact with machines. Intelligent voice control like Siri has been touted as another potential piece of that puzzle. It remains to be seen whether Apple will be as receptive to the idea of letting users tinker with Siri in this fashion.