Today was a good day for Siri. Firstly, thanks to a new feature in the Wolfram Alpha search engine, Siri (which calls on Wolfram Alpha for information) now has access to Best Buy’s public APIs. This means that your favorite digital assistant can give you help and advice on all of Best Buy’s 35,000 consumer products, and all you have to do is ask.
According to an official statement from Wolfram Alpha:
“We’ve taken the strengths we’ve developed in math, science, and socioeconomic data and created something equally unique and useful for online shoppers”
Customers can search for a general product category if they aren’t sure what they’re looking for. But it’s also possible to obtain information on a specific product model including product features, prices and availability, and users ratings. Siri can even give you a price comparisons with similar models.
But what if you know what features you want, but not what product? Well, Siri (and Wolfram Alpha) have a solution for that too! You can ask her to look up product details and she’ll find the closest object to what you’re describing. For example, if you were to ask for “the lightest digital camera under $100 with a pixel resolution greater than 12MP,” Siri might respond by giving you info on a Sony Cyber-shot or a Kodak EasyShare. Keep in mind that, for now at least, this is limited to the US only.
This is awesome for a few reasons. First, adding any new capabilities to Siri’s already impressive feature set is more than welcome. However, what I’m more excited about is the way in which these features were added – you know, not through Apple. Apple-branded Siri updates have been a topic of conversation for quite some time now, and still no significant new features have made it to our devices. However, I totally forgot (or never knew) that there were other ways to enhance Siri.
I’m excited to see what can come of this in the future, and am glad that Siri just got a little bit cooler. In fact, the only thing that would make this better was if Siri could… oh, I don’t know, play the piano.
What’s that you say? She can?!
A new video has hit the web demonstrating how Siri can communicate with a Yamaha Disklavier piano through an Apple AirPort Express, and have it play any song in your music library! The video also shows how she can pause and repeat the songs she serenades us with on the piano. This is more of a parlor trick, put it’s so so cool. Check out the video below.
These are two excellent examples of utilizing Siri in new and unique ways, all without waiting for an official Apple update. I can’t wait to see what else the iOS community comes up with.
What do you guys think about this? I’d love to hear your reactions, so let me know in the comments section below or hit me up on twitter!