How the Apple Watch Might Benefit Siri

Dan Miller of Opus Research wrote a post earlier this month about how the Apple Watch is a perfect match for Siri. Miller points out that Siri has some apparent limitations on the Apple Watch, being that she doesn’t speak back to the wearer, but just listens and carries out spoken commands.

Apple WatchYet Miller views the Apple Watch as the perfect extension for speech-enabled use cases that the typical iPhone user is already accustomed to and comfortable with. iPhone users have come to depend on Siri’s reliability for controlling the clock, setting alarms, leaving reminders, or making calendar entries. Miller thinks these types of commands are closely integrated with watch functionality and that buyers of the Apple Watch will naturally use Siri to perform these operations.

Miller also points out that Siri’s range of capabilities is extensible. Siri is standing by to help execute a large number of apps and the inventory of apps with Siri integration will steadily increase.

In a post I wrote last September, I noted that the form factor of the Apple Watch might actually lead to a renewed interest in using Siri, even among the large number of iPhone users who rarely interact with Apple’s digital personal assistant (now that the novelty has long since worn off). When I saw the demo of the Apple Watch following the #SpringForward reveal, the concerns about the form factor resurfaced.

There are so many tiny app icons loaded onto the watch face that it’s difficult to tap on the app you really want to open. Wouldn’t it be a ton easier to just say “Hey Siri, open Uber” or “Hey Siri, open Facebook?” The constraints of the wearables form factor may provide a renewed raison d’etre for voice interfaces in general, and intelligent assistants in particular.

I agree with Dan Miller that Apple Watch and Siri are a natural pair. It’ll be interesting to observe how this next generation of wearables impacts the intelligent personal assistant market and whether wearables force voice interfaces to the forefront.


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