It won’t be long before standard mobile connection matches T1 speeds and beyond. The mobile web experience, as well as the web experience of traditional desktop users, is going to evolve at a seemingly faster-than-light rate. One clear sign of these technological leaps is the latest native app for the iPhone 4 – dubbed Siri – that is meant to act as a personal assistant. Able to be asked such detailed questions as “Has the baseball game been canceled?” while providing accurate and timely responses, Siri is just the beginning of a new generation of web search capability. Android developers are also in the middle of creating speech-recognition technology – mostly for translation purposes. It won’t be long before speech-recognition software is replicated and reformed all across the web.
It makes sense then for web developers to consider the potential for a Siri-like app to be applied to their websites in the near future. Such an addition would not just simply make a particular website famous – it could change the face of web design and Internet marketing forever. While an embedded app such as Siri acts as personal assistant, such an app on a website would act more like a virtual front desk, supplying visitors with all the answers they’ll need regarding a particular company, and the information found therein on the company’s site.
In fact, websites themselves could quickly turn into much more streamlined systems of providing the public with knowledge and tools: instead of constructing websites geared toward user tendencies, having a virtual secretary for your site removes such requirements. The homepage is essentially the only page, and the front desk app assists you in retrieving the information you need. While there should still probably be a traditional backup option, either for the chance of error on the part of the app or for the possibility that a visitor has a phobia of artificial intelligence, as Siri-like apps become more commonplace, they will no doubt become more accurate and people will become more used to them.
It doesn’t even require a T1 internet connection to be able to rely on Siri and Siri-like programs, so honestly, the aforementioned projections could themselves just be flashes in the pan when the totality of the technological achievements of the next fifty years is taken into consideration. But before we get any farther than sophisticated personal app technology, we’ll have to get through the personal app phase. Web developers ought to start seeing how something like Siri could benefit their websites as soon as humanly possible.