Tech giant Apple could be readying itself for an uncharacteristic act of openness, as the company prepares to take the wraps off of the Siri SDK in a bid for a bigger piece of the growing digital voice assistant market.
A report from The Information’s Amir Efrati said yesterday that Apple is getting ready to make development tools for Siri widely available for the first time, which will allow app developers to create products that integrate with the company’s popular voice assistant.
The decision was made “after years of internal debate and discussion,” according to Efrati, who also reported that Apple is planning a competitor for Amazon’s Echo home voice appliance.
The news follows hard on the heels of Google’s announcement last week of Google Home, a similar voice assistant device, at its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View.
Apple-watcher and Network World contributor Yoni Heisler said that the unexpected popularity of the Echo has meant that the voice appliance market has gotten hot over the past couple of years.
“While Siri on the iPhone works great most of the time, there's something much more convenient about having a smart device in your home that is always on and ready to answer queries without needing to remove a device from your pocket,” he said.
The idea, according to Heisler, is to bring Apple’s hard-won software expertise to bear on a hardware product. He expects that the marketplace will feature products from all three companies “before 2017.”