CrackBerry Asks: How important do you think it is that BlackBerry have a voice control app like Siri or S-Voice?

By Kevin Michaluk on 18 Jun 2012 04:56 pm EDT
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BlackBerry Voice

A week ago, almost to the hour, Apple execs took to the stage for the WWDC keynote. Siri was the warm-up act for the show (see WWDC replay), and when it came time to talk iOS 6, Scott Forstall spent a chunk of time going over the new voice commands they built into Siri. Apple also made it clear that they're going to continue building out Siri's knowledge base.

All the Siri talk got me thinking about whether we'll see BlackBerry put any sort of effort in to building out their own version of a voice command/interaction app like Siri. We know other phone companies are hoping to not let Apple completely steal the show in this department. For example, Samsung's new Galaxy SIII features S-Voice and Google is working on Google Assistant. RIM has a lot to do as it is in bringing BlackBerry 10 to market and I doubt they can do it all for launch - so even it's on the BlackBerry radar right now, I'm guessing it would be lower down the priority list.

Personally, I don't think it's that critical that BlackBerry worry about this for the launch of BlackBerry 10. I know a lot of iPhone 4S owners, and of them very few actually put Siri to use on an a regular basis (exception, Rene Ritchie from iMore). I picked up an iPhone 4S when it came out just to try Siri out, and while I found it ok for a few things -- like getting directions while driving -- I just couldn't put it to use in my daily mobile work flow. I'm not going to use it in public (I'd have to kick my own ass) and in private I'd rather masterfully manipulate my phone with my thumbs and control my actions than talk to it with the chance of it messing up and not recognizing my question. But that's just me. And maybe over time my feelings will change.

Question of the Day: So what I want to know is how you feel about Siri and apps/services like it. Do you think it's important that BlackBerry be working on a BlackBerry Voice service a la Sir ASAP? Or is this a lesser priority that can be worked on over time. Vote on the poll above and sound off in the comments!

112 comments

bluetroll

i think this feature is not important, however to stay relevant with the competition, they will need some sort of equivalent.

TheRealFixxxer

+1

Whether you use it or not is besides the point. I would never use it, but I think it's essential to have what the majority of people -want-.

bobaloo

I think it's important for BB to eventually invest in. I'm sure they'll eventually have something equivalent. whether or not they have it is not the issue. The important thing is that when they introduce it THEY NAIL IT. If it is inferior to Siri, then that will be a problem in the public's eye.

terminatorx

You mean what the majority of people want, based on what Apple told them they need. Apple: You need this, it's great. Sheep: Yes, I want this. Apple: You don't need a keyboard, you just need 1 button. Sheep: I don't need no keyboard, I just want 1 button. Apple: You don't need flash. Sheep: Flash is dead, I don't want flash anymore. Etc.

peterallcdn

I agree that when it comes to day to day phone use, it's not super important. But if RIM wants BB10 in cars, TVs etc, then I believe that excellent voice recognition is extremely important. As cool as touchscreen interfaces in cars are these days, I feel as though the whole concept is flawed because you have to actually look at the console to use it which isn't great while driving. So if people want touchscreens in their cars, the ability to control those screens by voice becomes very important since tactile control is reduced.

gimpy666

gimpy666
I agree as distracted drivers are killing too many people already without Rim adding to the total.

siddo_d

It is somewhat important because RIM/Blackberry was falling behind not having features its competitors had which is why we're getting BB10

They should call it Berry- Virtual assistant LOOL

shemaree09

not important. Siri is a gimmick. I have yet to see anyone actually use it in public. Vlingo has been around forever ans still kinda sucks. This feature is just not practical.

gar216

Siri may not be practical but it is something that has alot of buzz. Blackberry users may not be interested in a siri equivalent,but the people who are interested are the ones who will be reviewing these devices therefore having a major part in attracting new customers to the platform. We live in a world where the best productis the one that does everything that the competition does PLUS something else. and unfortunately blackberry is not in the position to gamble. In my opinion something (even if it isnt good as siri) is better thannothing because it shows potential and that RIM "gets it"

cvirata

I completely agree that to the general public having a siri equivalent is necessary. It's unfortunate because a majority of people will play with it for a week or two and then never use it unless they're showing it off to someone who doesn't have siri.

The only thing I worry about is if RIM puts out a half finished siri-like service "just because" which will backfire with more negative feed back. Anti-RIM complainers will find one thing and exploit it.

Personally, I feel siri's more of a gimmick than a tool but it's new, shiny and draws the attention of many.

gord888

Siri is gimmicky, but the concept is still solid. Think about how Microsoft Sync works in a Ford vehicle... that's the kind of integration i'd like with voice command and my BB.

LoganSix

QNX already uses AT&T's Watson voice recognition. They showed it in the QNX Porsche.

anthonybaker

i dont think it is an important feature to us "the people who do" but to get some of those ppl back who left BlackBerry i think RIM should have a similar feature at least to some degree. Like universal voice search FLOW (universal voice search on steriods)!! BB10 for the win!

wgtcarlos

I really don't see me talking to my device on a meeting full of ppl... I just think its not pratical and it won't help get things done.

What I would really love to see is more of that Confetti app and features to share material easily with other devices. That would be very useful for business.

wildeagle

I use Vlingo read my texts and emails when I am driving and use my BB built in commands to make phone calls and that is it. When I see people using voice commands in public (including my wife who uses the android speak to text) I want to beat them. It has a keyboard that is more accurate and quicker.

Mister-E

Vlingo is great. It does not hurt if Blackberry has it's own voice solution but even it does not there are other options. I have an iPhone 4S and the value that it adds beyond what Vlingo offers is more gimmick and hype.

misskalunji

Not important, It's just a cool feature but i can live without it. I just need like the other said, accurate touch keyboard and I'll be in paradise.

chronomatic

From what I've seen over the years this kind of voice technology still has a long way to go (including Siri). Additionally people don't use it that much on a daily basis (though in some cases it is helpful).

I think having the potential for it would be nice, but a main feature? Probably a gimmick unless it worked flawlessly. This kind of falls in line with app support if you ask me.

Sad part is it does affect the "wow" factor despite its actual usability (hence marketing plus).

Bilaal

It's sad to think of the fact that if it isn't implemented at launch, some Apple Gang bangers will shaft RIM for it.

CrackBerryTorch9800

Not very important because most people likely rarely use the one that is there but it might be ok to have just to say "yes we have it"

zoomzoom71

The more that the dumbed-down voting public cries to allow government into our vehicles by way of texting-and-driving prohibitions, the more important these voice-driven apps are going to be. I use Vlingo and, while it's not perfect, it does a bang-up job with voice dialing, and I'll use it for that. I also have DriveSafe.ly, and it's pretty good for reading emails and texts, although the constant updates are a bit annoying.

THBW

SIRI is not important. The utiliy of the technology is questionable. I sort of view it as one of those gimicky things..

dbollman423

It is somewhat important. I have suggested in other posts that BB partner with IBM and model such a feature after WATSON. No need to reinvent the wheel, but it is pretty neat.

LoganSix

QNX used it in the QNX Porsche.

herculesinwyoming

I have s voice and have never tried it. maybe im old but talking to a device seems weird to me.

drmike

I dont need to talk to my phone. "Tell me a joke" Really? "Find gas station" I dont know, its not for me. Id rather type.

Plus Id feel kinda wierd talking to someone who really doesnt exist.

ekafara

If they have one on the phone I hope it's named Quincy. Using the Q for QNX, it rolls off the tongue pretty good too.

rthonpm

If it's called Quincy, can I have it speak to me like Jack Klugman?

Sirhill

It's not important for one reason and that is most cars these days has the ability to read text, emails, make/receive phone calls, and even stream music from any device. If the need to have a voice app to use more in the car for safety reasons than this is covered by the tech in cars. But to have the ability to speak to your phone just to show off to friends than its not needed. I think it should be something with a purpose that gets things done a lot easier than doing it in the traditional way.

Blackberry_boffin

Everyone know it is not an absolute necessity but sometimes you need to go toe-to-toe with the competition lest you miss the next 'big thing' busy convincing yoyrself it is not necessary.
If it helps shift units then why not? There is already a myriad of voice command apps on BlackBerry that tells you there is a place for that. Apple just made it into an assistant type of thing. If RIM enable it to take dictation too then it becomes productive.
We all seem to be pushing this thing of people who 'do' a tad too far. BlackBerry will soon be niche products if they alienate casual smartphone users.

rickkel

You: Siri, is it important that BlackBerry 10 have voice activated commands?

Siri: Yes, 10% blackberry juice is potent and in demand.

You: No Siri, I said do you think BlackBerry 10 needs prompts to appease the media?

Siri: Yes blackberries are plump this season; they will please Ophelia.

You: Never mind Siri. You are stupid.

Siri: Thank you for buying Apple.

Chaplain_Clancy

Which is exactly why I asked the question. I have to start using emoticons. No-one gets my sarcasm.

DavideaNY

Practical application... Few... Marketing importance.... Really High.. Just to avoid offering any kind of grip to those who criticize RIM.. BB10 has to be complete and with all the functionalities other brands offer but with MORE focus on the productivity...

marknick

I drive a lot and a solid application like this would be a lifesaver. I absolutely love the idea of siri but refuse to go to apple to get it..... No offense!!! The reminders with places would be fantastic, like, "remind me to send contract to John when I get to the office" that's seriously slick!!! Reports on siri are so mixed. If a application worked like it does in the TV adverts, it would be a welcome addition for me......

Jean-luc_Picard

Have you ever run into anything that works like the TV advertisements tell you it will? Siri is great in principal but it doesn't always understand what you say (especially if you have a non-average-person accent) and even when it does understand you it has fairly limited functionality (being addressed in the next version)

Jean-luc_Picard

Would I ever use it? Yes, but only ever as a fun gimmick, I'd never use it honestly thinking it's any more efficient. Do I think they need to have it? Yes. If they don't have it then people will complain. They need to have everything better than or at least equal to the competition for BB10 to thrive. Every little thing they leave out makes them less likely to get good reviews and purchasers.

Puz_zled

Siri is a gimmick but it also points the way to a potential new UI paradigm that I see as a continuation of the "making cool stuff I saw on Star Trek when I was a kid become a reality for me as an adult" motivation that seems to underlie all of Apple's product development. To be able to stand in the middle of your office (home or work) and be able to say "computer.....What is the price of gold on the London exchange right now?" .........or whatever your question might be could be a desirable way to interact with computing power for many people. I see the car office and home as potential places where this hands free private computing could have a future as a UI people eventually get comfortable with.
Sent from my thumbs on my Playbook

dbollman423

Have to agree with the post about marketing. Not every pizza place in town is getting mentioned by Siri. Only the ones that have paid Apple or their partner.

canuckvoip

I picked "really important". Not because I will use it (because I doubt I would), but because people look at comparisons.

drjay868

While I've tried Vlingo and found it too much of a PITA to use, I'm sure there are people out there who would be drawn to BB10 if it came with a Siri/Vlingo type app. That being said, I hope RIM wouldn't wast time building their own app and just buy out Vlingo so RIM can make sure BB10 comes out without any hiccups.

Android Market for QNX

I picked "Somewhat Important" because I think you can't leave out a feature your competition has. RIM used to be like "oh yeah, our users don't need an MP3 player or a camera in our phones because they're corporate users". Nowadays, to stay competitive, I think they will need to keep up with the Joneses.

guerllamo7

Siri is a gimmick, as the statistics of iPhone users indicate. However, I believe that something like it is important. Frankly, Vlingo gets it done for me but it (like Siri) could use some enhancements.

When in a crowded space, or on a moving golf cart, or just when you don't want to talk to get something done (I can speed dial my wife far faster than have Vlingo or Siri call her) typing is far superior. Faster, quieter, more private, just better. However, when you are holding a bag or a child in one arm a voice command device is nice.

I think there is no question that Vlingo adds value. The question is whether type, voice and gestures can be integrated in a way that is not gimmicky and distracting but effective and efficient.

I think BlackBerry has an opportunity here. If they deliver a quality voice service (such as Vlingo with some fine tunning) that integrates well with typing and gestures on a device that already has NFC integrated you could deliver a world class champion.

A docking station on every car could be preset with NFC and not play the same despicable games our corporations like to play to hinder competition so only one device works on it. The potential is enormous.

I say work on a partnership or develop it in house but do provide it. Like the camera, it matters.

sgt_snacks-64

Maybe, maybe it should be there. If it makes the people who matter (Bloggers, reviewers etc), happy then yes, it "Should" be there. But what we wouldn't want is a rushed-to-the-door implimentation of Voice control that "Doesn't work right". That would be FAR more damaging for RIM in that perspective than not releasing anything at all.

Personally? I don't need gimmicks on my phone, I need productivity tools, My Bold 9900 is by FAR the MOST productive phone I've owned. Thankfully I wouldn't be locked to using these "Voice control" tools, and therefore don't HAVE to look like a div.

We need what we've always had I guess, a quick, slick, shortcut-able UI, negating the need for me to tell my phone "Remind me to apply my cream tonight" and coming back as "Here's your reminder - "Remember to hat hat the hat cream"".

A skilled Blackberr-ian could add a reminder into their phone quicker than Siri ;)

centaur5

Basic commands such as Google's ability to do about 12 different tasks simply by hitting voice search. Also having the voice to text transcription instead of typing. Those 2 capabilities have been in Android for years and are used quite frequently by many and are the only things I care for. Otherwise, talking to a bot like a human sounds too much like people need real friends!

Xopher

I've tried some of the apps like Siri on Android and they are cute for a short amount of time. I think the Apple/Siri commercials look sad with people all alone, by themselves, no friends, pitifully having to carry on a conversation with their phone (Zoey asking "is it raining?" - can't she already see that?).

That being said, I do use Vlingo on my BB, and the dictation feature does come in quite handy. It always bothers me to have to hold down the convenience key the entire time to talk, but if I am busy doing something else (like working on my computer), I can dictate a message much quicker than jumping between large keyboard and small.

What I question is implementation. If BB10 devices are similar to the Dev Alpha, there might not be a convenience key on the side. That would make it much harder to access a voice system, turning it back into something you have to manually start, then use. It could easily end up being one of those things where you end up being bored and alone, like John Malchovich, spouting drivel one word at a time to see what words come back. I guess when nobody else will talk to you...

ryanlrobinson

It looks cool in commercials, but beyond that, I don't think it really serves a function.

Elyssa_38

Funny I was just trying siri and Iris out(android version) and to be honest seems like a cool feature but not really important i never see my brother or sister use them at all So I rather have RIM spend more time and making the OS perfect or atleast close to than waste time with dumb features like this which btw creep me out ha!

bebold99

I can keep loving my bb without it. Actually, it's really a cool app. I think it will be helpfull in some case such as driving car. But as mentioned, it wastes time once messing up

Stewartj1

Not at all important to me personally, but very important competitively. For some reason the majority of people I talk to still seem to think Siri works very well.

grreyes24

From times I’ve played with Siri, or seeing a friend try to use it, it just seems to not work as you want it to most of the time. Still though, the public will always assume that it is the best of its kind in the mobile world even if RIM creates something that is better. That is unless RIM finds a way to team up with IBM and Watson for their devices. Watson, although definitely a stripped down version of the super computer, on a BlackBerry would make Siri look like the non-functioning feature it is. At least in my opinion… And I’m sure that the chances of this happening are very slim.

Poodwahr

The responses I read here are generally indicative of the hard core BB user; still living in the part and suffering from NIH (not invented here) syndrome. To those the are adopters of new innovative technology SIRI is a great tool. But I wouldn't expect hard core BB users to see it that way.

While RIM should just get on with it and release BB10, it shouldn't continue to stick its head in the sand and ignore these new technologies. If they do BB10 will be "old school" in a year or two and the crisis with RIM will reappear.

Not knocking RIM, just wish they would they would open their eyes.

Camfella

I know, I'm still amazed at how many b.b. users still feel they don't need apps because the browser can do the job. They just don't get it!

NFLPLAYBOOK

Missed the option that " It's not important at all because they don't work very well.". I have yet to see any voice program work reliably. It can be useful but you need perfect circumstances to use it.

tedd_jr

I voted really important. Not as a functionality for myself, but i feel that BB10 needs to be bulletproof, to fend off all the naysayers and the "but iPhone has Siri" backers. People who do-do, aren't enough to sustain a market presence. And imagine RIM beating Apple at its own game with a AT&T Watson powered speech/dictation app, I'm all for RIM including ALL the bells and whistles on my next device, might as well throw the kitchen sink in there as well.*

*Disclaimer: and make sure they work as their suppose to!

pididipop

Siri is not what it is hyped up to be or as advertised. This coming from people I know that have it on their Iphone or in some articles I have come across such as this one: http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05-25/commentary/31840022_1_siri-ne... . So do we need a bad voice command interface? I currently use Viingo on my BB and find it helpful for some things.

abdul

I don't need it and the only time I see siri being used is in the Apple commercials.

Coffeecat

It is important from a marketing perspective. Unless it is a lot better than Siri, it is useless from a practical point of view.

mjgallaway

Siri is the dumbest thing ever. Vlingo stinks, siri stinks. Let's not keep promoting laziness with a dumb voice who actually slacks and does a half ass job. No voice junk in my opinion makes a way better device.

dandbj13

It wasn't that long ago when BB users were asking about the importance of having a full touchscreen. If you have to ask the question, you are already too far behind.

Jckfrost780

BB10 should have everything that the competition has, no exceptions.

I wouldn't use it personally, most on site probably wouldn't either. That being said, BB10 is being designed for those who don't know what they're missing by being on Android or iOS. If/when people come back to BB, it will be because it is superior to their prior mobile platform.

They're not setting the bar high enough if at this stage they're already making concessions.

toobs623

Okay, so I'm an at&t dealer and for the record siri sucks, however the voice activation on android is f-ing amazing. I have a galaxy skyrocket demo and have been demoing the voice control for 8 months. It gets every damn word I speak. I can go on for paragraphs. If it talks back to me I will kill myself, but something native and better than vlingo would be great. Don't get me wrong vlingo has done me well, but it is slow and frequently wrong. I like to get stuff done on my way to work and typing in the car is risky these days.

randall2580

Increasingly I use my smart phone while travelling. Navigation and listening to internet radio/podcasts/a music app (the bb equivalent to Google Music?) becomes important. Here in the North East USA we have severe hands free laws. If I want to send a text I am late, or respond to a text to stop on my way home I want to be able to do it verbally.

The ability to access the phone on the go by voice is important to me. Vlingo is a great start but I want to be able to use phone apps, go deeper than Vlingo currently goes. I think this can only be done by Siri style, deeply built into the OS, that has to be done by RIM or a partner of RIM's choosing (S Voice is done by Vlingo if I am not mistaken).

I can do all of this on my GNote with Voice Talk app (made by Vlingo for Samsung)

sir.dangerfield

I would like to have a similar feature while I'm driving.

davehong

There's enough folks who use voice control features that it would be worth integrating eventually - but first things first, work on the basics!

dakid72

I have several friends who have an iPhone 4s and when they do use siri it is only for texting and they still have to go in and change some things because she either can't' hear (insert your own female not hearing well joke here) or just can't understand what they are saying--both men and women users--
so my stand point is no it is not necessary and isn't gonna sway me one way or the other, but if they want to do something make it really, and i mean really cool, like not having to press a button, but just speak to the phone and it responds to you

Jamaicangirl81

i dont need s-voice/siri .... what they dont show you is how often they mess up... if i want something, i'll universal search and bam..

lengend

I don't give a crap about it. I'm not just gonna start to talk to my phone randomly. And the way gestures are on bb10 I don't even think we need it. Its all about the Flow.

lengend

I don't give a crap about it. I'm not just gonna start to talk to my phone randomly. And the way gestures are on bb10 I don't even think we need it. Its all about the Flow.

Zedi Master

I think its important to NOT HAVE IT! Even if it was performance and battery neutral, it would just be added bloat!

Use the savings to bring us useful functionalities.

kazn3r

It's important in the sense that people will remember that after seeing an ad, but I'll be honest and say -- Apple's already done it, and I don't feel like being called a copy cat.

Secondly, I'm faster than Siri every time...Someone says "Siri, you bit**, find me (a nearby) restaurant" and I'm already scrolling through my Google results...

Every. Single. Time.

"When are my meetings today..." isn't finished processing before I'm already done clicking my notification bar...

"Can you please reboot, you're becoming slow, woman..." and I've already depressed alt, aA, and del...

And, if Siri is really listening (if Apple's really listening), then Blackberry is already months behind Siri and recognition.

Techno-Emigre

To me it all depends on where the technology is. Do not make the mistake of putting out something like what we have now. I am done fumbling around and ending up spending more time than it would have taken to just type. And I am done having it suck my battery dry.

To compete, I think it needs to be there. BB10 has to meet expectations for the future, not be playing catch up. I want my phone to take care of me when I don't have free thumbs

MOE BEATs

I'm not sure if anyone else does this but of the first things I delete when I shrink my OS is voice commands. So uh the big HELL NO to this one... If I talk to/at my phone, it's usually someone on the line.

PBfanatic

watson is already use in QNX car,

iamshadow

Honestly, I believe RIM not putting in another "Siri" may very well be the reason why folks take them seriously again.

The Apple ads with Siri are crazy. "2 iphones walk into a bar" my goodness... I believe that if RIM is going to use a voice assistant, it should add value to Blackberry rather than pander to the masses.

Stated many times is that RIM already has it using with QNX Porche. Which is great. But to use it in a mobile device, not without a proper use. The half-assed way apple has done it is plain and simply useless to people who are about their business.

z1nsane

The only thing I'd use Siri for is setting calendar events.

veganberry

I've used siri and quite frankly i found it very frustrating. so NO!!!

itmccb

Regardless of whether it's like SIRI, competent voice control is a must.

cherolis

To heck with Siri.

I want Cortana.

drjames05

I know a lot of people here are saying, 'no, they don't care about a bb variant of Siri', but I think it would be amazing if RIM developed a virtual "concierge"!!

Just think about it! How perfect would it be if, and I assume RIM still wants to target & keep the 'producers' of the world, to give them a a virtual concierge/assistant. IMO, they go hand in hand.

rotorwrench

Don't need it, although I have had good luck using Vlingo for a couple of years, for texts, emails and quick searches while driving. I do like Siri though, it's very entertaining to watch people get frustrated using it. When my wife had her iPhone, I would always perk up when I thought she was going to use it, always in the mood for a laugh. Eventually she started prefacing her phone use in my presence by saying "Calm down, I'm not using Siri!". LOL.

moyjoy

This weekend I was in the village (in NYC) and there was a drag queen screaming at the top of her lungs. I turned to see who she was fighting with... it was Siri. She was not "happy with that bitch" as she could not tell her where Remedy Bar was.

cadoll

I would actually delete it off of my phone if it came pre-installed. I would not want to have to say aloud every command that I wish my phone to do. This is why I make my calls privately and text when necessary-to keep what I am doing PRIVATE.

npunk42

It would depend if Siri was actually working that day or not. If it was, I wouldnt have the need for it, if it wasnt I would have one more thing to talk to my human friends about.

gianilac

SIri barely works or even doesn't work here in the Philippines. It's crap. Besides How lazy can you get to ask your smartphone for weather update or call someone when you can do it easily.

sazerak

"Apple saw the opportunity and announced the release of the iPod, their first portable music player on October 23, 2001.
At first, the reactions were confused and hostile, critics lambasted the $400 price tag, the unconventional scroll wheel and the lack of Windows compatibility. Despite all this, the iPod sold beyond everyone's expectations, went on to revolutionize the entire music industry, and the rest is history." I'm not sure, if everyone would agree if there are any similarities, but it does make me wonder.....

dcroissant

From a marketing point of view, maybe as long as it's a solid application - but please, not Vlingo.

modalspace

If RIM really delivers on the promise of one-handed ease of use, I think I can live without voice assistant functionality on BB10 (though I accept that it might have some utility for people who drive a lot). But you have to recognise that Apple is doing a lot more than just voice recognition with Siri, like natural language processing etc.
That is pretty useful and I would like to see RIM properly integrating NLP and semantic technology into all the native apps (e.g. if email from contact X mentions contact Y, make that mention clickable and take me to the right person in the contacts app). It goes a long way to making your phone work for you and frees you from a lot of tedious tasks.

canadianchris

Siri has come leaps and bounds over the last few months - remember it's a "beta" product right now. When Apple puts their mind to something, they generally knock it out of the park, so when they're ready to take the beta logo off I think and reliability issues go away, look out. You can write it off as a gimmick but that's absurdly reductionist. It's a clever and important feature to have rolling forward, and RIM will need to have something similar to compete. Being able to say "set timer for 5 mins" or "remind me at 10pm to send that email" has become an indispensable part of my workflow. I'm transitioning back to BlackBerry at the moment, and I'm finding it super inconvenient not to have those little features. In 3 years we won't think twice about talking to our phones as part of our daily lives.

konic

Voice control is a total BS and waste of money.
Where and when are going to use it? In desert? Sound proof bunker?
Antarctic - penguins do not talk!

jhrain

Let me voice dial. No more, No Less.

gthurman

BlackBerry has had a 'Siri' solution alternative for over a year.
First, in regard to Siri, very intelligent people I know, that understand the English language and parsing, tell me Siri is only valuable about 50% of the time.
Second, Google has had voice entry in Google Maps, by depressing the 'green key' (explained for iOS users) and speaking for several months.
I paid ~$20 for Vlingo about a year ago. At first it was worth the money, because I was a heavy Dragon user on Win7. Then they tried to 'out-Google' Google by interjecting their ad space into voice spoken commands and searches. It seldom provided the results you were seekign and caused you to go through the entire search procedure again, carefully avoiding Vlingo. I went from recommending Vlingo to everyone, to warning against use of Vlingo.
Few notice in Google Search via Google Chrome, a microphone icon is in the search text box. If clicked, you may speak the search text. Thus Google may provide the alternative to Siri.

gimpy666

gimpy666
I used to use Dragon Naturally Speaking and it worked great but the resources it used made my computer too slow. I don't know if all voice recognition programs are like that but it would sure slow other apps on a phone.

DuexNoir

A Siri-equivalent is not necessary at the launch of BB10 later this year but it may be a needed addition later on simply to make BB a more holistic package that is on par with the competition. The consumer doesn't care whether they will use the software or not but they will care whether you have it or not when the other competitors do offer it. An unfortunate fact but that's how consumer market is. They want the bells and whistles simply to have.

thessalonian

It needs to have a snooty english accent and call it Jeeves

Jimberry Storm

You: (Zoey D.) Siri ist it raining? as she is looking at the rain are you F in kidding me
anyone who needs to do that needs adult supervision, not a gadget
I am all for technology make our lives better but really?

Ok I got it!!!! For people who aren't sure what rain is, make an app that you can download from app world.
that way RIMM stays true to the customization that most people love.

And what about the Universal search on OS 7 devices, you can speak what you are searching for already, BB ahead of the curve in tech, behind in word of mouth.

D.Vader

IF you guys are going to do a poll you shouldn't spoil the results by publishing your opinion. Basically this poll should have just asked "do you agree with me" you set a seed in people's head when you said...

"Personally, I don't think it's that critical that BlackBerry worry about this for the launch of BlackBerry 10. "

This type of statement would have been more appropriate in a followup post that reveals and analyzes the poll results.

IMHO RIM needs to start thinking of ways to OUT-DO the competition. If we start BB10 from a position of "less than" the competition that just leaves us that much further away from "OUT DOING" the competition.

RIM loyalist have to stop thinking of just what they want, the market plays a big role in the success of mobile devices and to ignore the status quo the others have created is exactly the kind of arrogance that got RIM into this position in the first place.

At the very least RIM should be working with some kind of app creator to utilize the Wolfram Alpha search engine, which is the powerhouse behind Siri. All the other voice to text applications are adhoc and clumsy for BB phones, something integrated into the API will help avoid a flood of these apps that will seem very "last generation" to anyone that has used an iPhone or Droid.

adamschuetze

Not important at all. Siri doesn't work at all. It's half baked anyway.

Please RIM, don't me a "me too" and add all kinds of functions that don't work because you've not had enough time to finish them properly.

sidds18

cut the crap and give a good phone with no hour glass, screen freeze and f******* fast fluidity like iPhone( don't get me wrong I've been using blackberry much longer than kevin and co.). get the basics right rest all are side shows.

anthogag

IMO this is very much about how good it is. If I can talk normally then I'll use it.

I haven't tried Siri but I did try Vlingo and it's not good enough
- I have to change the way I pronounce words
- often it's the wrong word
- I have to say certain words/commands

And this is only good when the user is alone. I don't want to hear the contents of your email or text message.

I think voice control is good when it assists me in a flow kind of way. Like when I'm typing an email I can say "copy this sentence" or "attach file".

Jaredius

It's not important to most Blackberry users, but if they want to steal market-share from iPhone they may want to consider having it in "Blackberry flavor" making it better. Emulate what is great on other platforms and improve/include it while maintaining all that is great with current Blackberry OS. That is the solution IMHO.

CarGuy1368

Right now in the App World, there is an app called SayIt that is much like Siri, but not as good. It can do voice to text, text to voice, search things on the web for you, etc. I think that RIM should release an integrated thing like Siri, because it would look like they are trying to get ahead. I don't personally like voice command because it isn't very productive or fast, but voice command would be a nice feature to give Apple fans a punch in the face to get a BB as their next phone.

thewalmartguy

It has its pros and cons. Honestly, the media will expect something like that (mentioned before that andriod and BB have something). I do not feel they have to focus on it when advertising, but mentioning a "personal assistant" won't hurt them. Rim needs to show that they have what everyone else has but still focus on what is different

I don't know if it will every be a completely useful and universal feature. Everyone talks differently and I do not want to imagine the amount of space needed to make voice recognition work with that. Also, background noise is bad. I have children. I have disabled every voice activated feature in my home because of it. Even my daughter has a hard time playing DS games with voice controls due to the other sounds in the house.

wout000

Blackberry should include a basic rudimentary version that allows us to do the basics like 'set appointment, set alarm, email...)

The 'answering questions' side of things should just be like what Apple does with Siri, connect your voice engine to Wolfram Alpha and display the results.

The only thing they need is a decent enough voice analyzer, Wolfram Alpha has all the answers ;)

svjones

I feel it's important to have but not immediately. If you want to do it right, do it with your thumbs is correct but in the same sense, to not have such technology would be a step behind the competition and RIM can't afford to do that.

I believe that giving people the option to use something is always key. Developing the technology for those who would like to use it and those of us who don't intend to can continue to use our BlackBerry's the way we always have.

The only time I've ever used Siri is to ask it silly questions, not to actually use it as it's intended function but I also don't own an iPhone so that's probably why.

In closing, yes develop it but doesn't have to be #1 priority. Get everything else up and running first; all of the important things we expect and then develop a Siri program to be upgraded into BB10 later

Rootbrian

I don't see it all that important for voice control. I wouldn't even make use of it since I bike and the wind would cause allot of distortion. When I bike, the blackberry stays in it's holster and I won't ride and talk at the same time. Too dangerous.

Spoomanchu

I made my own solution. I just duct taped a Magic 8-Ball to my 9930. Problem solved!