As soon as mobile developers Applidium cracked the Siri security protocol (the wall that stops it from working on anything other than an iPhone 4S) and released a set of developer tools to expand upon what the service does already, various prototypes have already made it into the wild: from the menial tasks of changing your thermostat temperature to the more interesting possibilities like starting your car.
We understood that there was going to be opportunities of expansion upon the functionality of Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant since the aforementioned hack. These became possible through understanding how Siri relies on Apple's data centre to deliver results and interpret questions, meaning that the underlying functionality was strictly server-side. Now that the inter-connectivity between iPhone and server has been grasped, custom handles can be created along with cause-and-effect responses, making Siri much more useful beyond asking if you require an umbrella. Here are three of our favourite uses of the hack thus far.
Firstly, we've got Plamoni creating a rather novel function of altering his house temperature, speaking to the iPhone to check the interior temperature, and alter his wi-fi thermostat accordingly via simple 'IF-THEN' algorithms.
Second, Hjalti Jakobsson from Iceland has gotten rather bored of looking through folders for TV shows, so he's created a plugin for PLEX, allowing you to ask for whatever TV show-series number-episode number you want and either returning with the title and playing, or apologising if it can't find the show you're after. The system seems virtually lag-less, making it impressively fast.
Last but most certainly not least, one with the clear aims of being beneficial; but also one that seems a little uncomfortable to some of us. Brandon Fiquett has developed an algorithm to start, stop, open the truck and activate the alarm in his car using Siri voice controls. It works alongside the Viper car automation and security system: ask Siri for the car related command and it's sent up to his own proxy server, forwarded down to his Viper and beamed to his cellular controlled car. We're fascinated by the functionality and fully welcome all the innovative capabilities; but without sounding paranoid, we wouldn't want to be around if the possibility of expanding this algorithm as a skeleton-key to all vehicles occurs.
The source code is available to download for the car hack and thermostat; but the Plex controller is still a while off being ready. And whatsmore, they don't require a jailbreak: just the installation of a fake root certificate onto the iPhone. Hit up the source links to download the car control, along with an in-depth how to guide from Plamoni.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.