“Siri is the culmination of the Jobs legacy,” contends Gary Morgenthaler, a partner at the venture capital firm Morgenthaler Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif. Morgenthaler was the first VC investor in Siri and was a board member until Apple acquired it, as well as an investor and board member of Nuance Communications, the voice recognition software company whose technology also is used by Siri. Both companies were spun out of the research institute SRI International.
In an exclusive interview, Morgenthaler provided a revealing look at how Siri developed and what it could potentially do–including how it could reshape the worlds of e-commerce and advertising. Morgenthaler makes a good case that Siri represents the third revolution in human-computer interfaces (emphasis ours) that Jobs perfected and popularized. The first was the graphical user interface, using a mouse as a pointing device, which Jobs adapted (some might say stole) from Xerox PARC and SRI to make the Macintosh. The second came in the iPod and the iPad, using a gestural interface–again, not a technology it invented, but anyone who uses Apple’s touch technology knows it performs better than anyone else’s. The third, Morgenthaler contends, is a conversational interface epitomized by Siri. “It could create a new paradigm for interacting with computers, a new man-machine interface,” he says. “We are at a turning point in history where people can talk to a computer and be understood. It’s a watershed moment where people won’t go back.”
We at VoiZapp believe that Morganthaler is exactly right about Jobs' legacy. Once you experience the power of being able to listen to your Facebook news feed and then reply naturally in your own voice with updates, comments, and likes, you'll never want to hunch over a keyboard again. Here's a short video demo of Friends Aloud 3.0. Look for it soon in the App Store. As always, you can purchase Friends Aloud 2.0 now and automatically update to 3.0 for free the instant that it becomes available.