Siri as a lippy and sometimes profane television remote

If the addition of Siri to your iPhone has given you a somewhat-real life companion (and hope that you might not be forever alone) this hack is right up your alley. [Todd Treece] built a hardware fixiture for the living room which bridges the gap between Apple’s new digital assitant and your television.

The box itself is an Arduino with a WiFly shield and the hardware necessary to make it a universal infrared remote control. He mounted it on the underside of his end table, with the IR LED in line-of-sight for the television. Using SiriProxy he’s added functionality that lets you request a channel change either by the name of the network, or the channel number.

As you can see in the video after the break, Siri has some strong opinions on the quality of programming for certain channels. That and contempt for your inability to just change the channel yourself. But this setup does augment your remote control experience by giving you a synopsis of what’s playing right now for the channel you’ve requested.

[Thanks Dave]

Comments

  1. Paul Klemstine says:

    I smell a lawsuit from Apple for this project. I don’t think Siri is supposed to say those words.
    Awesome hack!

  2. Hunter says:

    Oddly my wife gives the same responses when I talk to her like that too. +1 for making Siri sound real. ;)

  3. macegr says:

    Very cool. However, please keep in mind that this is only taking advantage of the good voice recognition ability, not any of the conversational AI features of Siri. If you wanted the commands to be more freeform, you’d need to do the parsing AI locally. “Change the channel to number 45″ might work but “Switch to channel 45″ or “Set course, warp 45, engage” wouldn’t work unless you programmed in those specific commands. Of course you can just watch for keywords like “channel change number” and ignore other parts. I have a feeling that many of the commands Siri supports don’t have THAT much AI behind them.

  4. MARK B says:

    this is what’s next.. apple is going to release a TV which has siri like control. I think it will be awesome.. saying things like ‘record this weeks episode of mythbusters’ or ‘tell me other films made by this director’ etc etc.

    It will redefine TV; sans remote; like apple did with Mp3 players, books, laptops etc..

    • KillerBug says:

      …And it will block the good channels just like Apple iDevices block the good apps.

      Seriously tho…this is funny, but seems like it would get very annoying. Typing, “45” into the remote would be a lot easier than saying, “Siri, please change the channel to 45″ or, “Siri, I want to watch the history channel” and then “Yes”. At first Siri making fun of/complementing your channel choices would be a good laugh and a neat party trick, but after a while you would probably get tired of hearing, “I changed the channel for your lazy ass”.

  5. t11r says:

    This is a nicely fabricated and humorous project, but it’s not very usable on a daily basis.
    It takes more time to let Siri change channels than to do it yourself.

  6. Daniel says:

    It’s a pity that the actual siri engine runs on apple’s servers (eh, i mean “The Cloud”). I suppose many hackers (e.g. with a Linux/OSS) background wouldn’t want to route their queries to Apple.

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