With smart assistants baked into just about every device we use, more people are using their voice to control their devices. But wake words always leave you shouting the same phrase at your devices over and over. Apple is working to improve this with plans to shorten the wake word to activate Siri.
According to a report by Apple analyst Mark Gurman in his newsletter, Apple has been working on changing Siri’s wake word for the past few months. He explains that the new wake word will drop the “Hey”, so users can activate the assistant just be saying “Siri”. The idea is to make it even quicker to bark commands at the smart assistant, while also creating a more human-like interaction.
Gurman goes on to explain that the change is unlikely to happen for a little while. At the moment, the best estimate is a roll-out next year or 2024, but this could change. Changing the wake word would mean a hefty change to Siri’s basics, so there’s a lot to work on. To keep things running smoothly, Apple has been collecting plenty of training data during testing.
With the change to the wake word, things could get a little confusing for poor Siri. Accidental triggers would be much more common, with the name mentioned in passing more frequently. There are also more words that sound like “Siri” than phrases that sound like “Hey Siri”. Imagine you’re in a conversation calling something silly, and suddenly, your best pal Siri pipes up! That would be far from ideal. Having said that, Amazon just uses “Alexa” as the wake word for its assistant, so we know that it works. With Siri in your pocket, it might just be a little harder for Apple to implement.
Improvements to Siri are always highly anticipated, as the assistant isn’t always the most handy. Switching to just Siri’s name for the wake word would make for a more natural experience, unless you say “Hey” before speaking to everybody. Pack in improvements to Siri’s capabilities, and you’ve got a major update on the way. We’re definitely looking out for it!