Siri, Apple’s voice-enabled personal assistant software, was very cool when it first came out but it hasn’t exactly aged gracefully. For one thing, it’s slow compared to other voice recognition services and for another it needs an Internet connection to function at all. Quartz reports that Intel is working on voice recognition technology that’s designed to be both faster than Siri and to work without an Internet connection so you can use it wherever you need it.
Intel is designing the software, currently dubbed Jarvis, to run on an Intel chip that fits inside a headset that interacts with your smartphone. Although you’ll obviously still need an Internet connection to get real-time information such as traffic conditions and sports score updates, Intel’s new service will handle much more basic smartphone functions that really shouldn’t require a web connection to execute. This means that if we tell our smartphone to, say, answer a call or to play a song that’s stored on the device, it will do so instantly without the typical 3-to-4-second delay that comes with most voice-enabled assistants.
“How annoying is it when you’re in Yosemite and your personal assistant doesn’t work because you can’t get a wireless connection?” Intel wearables chief Mike Bell tells Quartz. “It’s fine if it can’t make a dinner reservation because the phone can’t get to the cloud. But why can’t it get me Google Maps on the phone or turn off the volume?”
Quartz says that Intel is pitching the technology to “unnamed mobile phones manufacturers, which could allow them to differentiate themselves from Apple and Google’s usual offerings,” so it looks like Siri and Google Now could get yet another competitor in the near future.