Siri as the Main Interface

November 12th, 2012

Patrick Rhone:

In other words, what if when we slid to unlock instead of being met with rows and pages of icons we, instead, were met with Siri? What if our primary interaction with such devices was not touch, but voice? What would that look like? What would that feel like?

Exactly the question we should be asking. As voice gets better as an interface for using computers, there’s no reason it should be a supplementary interface—it could be the interface. There would be no reason that devices require a large screen for displaying information and interacting with it. What do those devices look like? How would their purpose change?

The implications for mobile computing are obvious, but one thing I’m wondering a lot about is how a voice interface, combined with applications, would completely change the purpose of the TV. Could the TV be used as a communal computer for basic tasks like getting weather information, movie times, news, et cetera? Wouldn’t it be a very good place to leave notes for other family members (When you get home, the TV could tell you that your spouse went to the grocery store, or that you need to take care of the broken toilet), manage a common calendar, and manage a connected home (lights, heating and cooling, et cetera)? What other uses could a TV-as-computer operated by voice allow that we haven’t thought of?