Originally Posted by NYCGP
seriously great article... I have a BB and I have been strongly considering getting an Iphone4s just for this function.
I am writing emails all day long and setting appointments. I spend about 2-3 hours in my car and it makes it difficult to type while driving. Often times I will have back to back phone calls and end up forgetting to set an appointment that was made in the original phone call because I don't have time to type it in.
How are you guys using it? Or is it just a novelty at the moment?
Siri is working amazingly great and it's constantly learning to be better behind the scenes.
You can also try using vlingo for BB, works on emails/texts and it works well.
I returned my 4S and got the GS2, I was using a 9700 before.
I was an investor in General Magic, only thing... it was too early to market it did many things SIRI does now.
I got in very early so I did alright.
15th Anniversary: How General Magic Engineered Our World
Fourteen years ago, a company called General Magic promised a handheld device that would make calls, send email, play music, and do almost everything else that makes today's iPhone so drool-worthy. "Bill and Andy's Excellent Adventure II" (April 1994) was about the two Macintosh vets—Atkinson and Hertzfeld—leading the project.
Unfortunately, they were far too early.
General Magic sank in 2002. But its legacy lives on, in part because the effort was a formative experience for a team of brilliant young engineers. Pierre Omidyar went on to start eBay. Tony Fadell heads Apple's iPod hardware group. Kevin Lynch cooked up Flash. And Andy Rubin created the Sidekick and Google's Android mobile platform. Not too shabby. As for Bill and Andy, they are still adventuring excellently: Atkinson works with the artificial intelligence startup Numenta, and Hertzfeld codes for Google.
Portico: Dr. Steve Markman was brought in to run the company in 1996 and hired Kevin Surace to head up a new telephony group. This new team of 60-70 people set out to create a voice recognition-based personal assistant service that would be as close to human interaction as possible. The first service delivered was Portico (was code named Serengeti in development), and the interface was called Mary. Mary could understand some 20 million English phrases and speak several thousand different phrases herself (in addition to the Text to Speech engine).
Portico synchronized to popular devices such as the Palm Connected Organizer and Microsoft Outlook and handled voicemail, call forwarding, email, calendar etc., all through the user's own personal 800 number. The system was also scaled back and sold through many partners including Quest and Excite, as well as a free advertising supported service from General Magic called MagicTalk. At its peak, the system supported some 2.5 million users. General Magic was the first company to employ a large number of linguists to fine tune the human interaction and make it seem very real. "Mary" even had multiple responses for phrases spoken by the user so the user would often hear something slightly different from her. General Magic (inventors Kevin Surace, George White and others) applied for and were awarded several key patents in the voice recognition and artificial personality arena.
Icras: While Portico ran its voice portal business, the original handheld group was spun off in 1998 as Icras. The new company sold the Magic Cap OS as hardware named DataRover. The company focused on vertical market systems.
Microsoft: General Magic announced a major licensing deal with Microsoft in March 1998, including an investment by Microsoft. This gave Microsoft access to certain intellectual property, and gave General Magic the ability to work closer in integrating Portico with Microsoft products. It also brought much needed recognition to General Magic.
OnStar: The OnStar Virtual Advisor was developed at this time as well for General Motors. That service is still in wide use today (2011). The service is offered in many cars and trucks free for the first year of ownership. Like Portico before it, the service can handle email and certain call requests. It has a much more limited vocabulary, but still uses the original "Mary" as the voice interface.
With Onstar, Portico, MagicTalk, Excite, Microsoft and other partners, revenues began to rise and so did the stock. GMGC had traded below $1 in 1997 and rose to $18 by 2000.