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Siri gets serious – starting your car and heating your home

Apple’s voice activation software, known as Siri, is easily one of the most impressive parts of the iPhone 4S, giving users endless enjoyment.

Last week, we showed you some of Siri’s funniest responses – from telling jokes to suggesting where to hide a body. But computer hackers are now using Siri in a much more useful way.

And we don’t just mean checking the weather or calling a friend. Following the release of an instruction manual that explains how to get inside Siri’s technology, developers have been exploring ways the virtual assistant can be modified.

Last week, we had Siri being used to interact with a thermostat to control the temperature. It was reported that US-based web developer Pete Lamonica had spent five days getting Siri to interact with the software on his thermostat.

Using a proxy server he developed, Lamonica is now able to ask Siri to check the thermostat’s status and change the temperature at which the heater or air conditioner turns on. Pretty cool eh?

Car starter

And this week Siri took another step forward by starting a car just by being asked. Web developer Brandon Fiquett has built on the proxy server developed by Lamonica to create a plug-in that interacts with his car’s SmartStart system.

Using his iPhone, he is able to unlock the car, start the engine, open the boot and even sound the alarm. It is very impressive, and if you have the now-how you too can feel like David Hasslehof in Knight Rider.

It is a positive sign of things to come, as developers believe we are seeing just the start of what Siri will eventually be able to do.

And while these cool new functions are currently the reserve of tech wizards, it is only a matter of time before we see this type of artificial intelligence creep its way into our homes.