iPhone Applications that help you book a movie ticket or find restaurants in the neighborhood are not exactly new and we have reviewed quite a few of them in the past.
However, Siri is an iPhone app that makes this process simpler and much more exciting to the user.
Siri claims to be your personal assistant on the iPhone that will help you reach out to a wide database of local businesses. Using the iPhone app, you may speak out your requirements and Siri will get you the answers. For instance, speaking out "Find me a dentist nearby" into the microphone will connect you with all dentists in the neighborhood. The application has three features that makes it truly impressive:
Speech Recognition: Siri makes use of Nuance technology to convert user commands into text. This means you may simply talk to the app instead of typing queries
Semantic Technology: Users may talk to the iPhone app just as they would converse with a real-life assistant and the app would recognize the intent. For instance, when a user says "Can you make a booking for two at an Italian restaurant today", the app will automatically grab keywords like "Italian restaurant", "booking for two" and "today" to retrieve the results.
Simulated Conversation: When you use the iPhone app for multiple queries, Siri remembers the earlier conversation while determining results for the new task. For instance when you query for "Restaurants in Cupertino" and follow it up with "Nearby cinemas", Siri will understand that the user is looking for 'cinemas in Cupertino' and will retrieve results correspondingly.
Checkout the demo video of the iPhone app in action:
Siri presently works only with a few categories like restaurants, movies, events, local businesses, taxis and weather. Also, the iPhone app is optimized for iPhone 3GS, which means iPhone 3G and iPhone 2G users might find the application a tad slower. Nevertheless, the best thing about the app is that it is free to download and this makes it a must for all iPhone users.
You should also watch the interview of Siri's CEO, Dag Kittlaus and VP of engineering, Adam Cheyer by Robert Scoble over at building43, where they talk about the technology behind the application and lots of interesting things.
You can download the iPhone app by clicking here (iTunes link). Don't forget to tell us how you find the iPhone app in the comments.