The power of voice recognition technology is being utilized by many companies across the globe, as it has been for quite some time. Siri (along with similar implementations of other platforms) has helped bring such technology to the forefront, and although the initial hype surrounding Apple’s voice assistant has petered out somewhat, Honda has just announced its intention to bring Siri support to a fleet of its automobiles in the coming months.
Models including the 2012 Accord RDX, Acura RDX and ILX will be the first to support Siri’s “Eyes Free” integration. It won’t, of course, be a standard feature, but an optional add-on for those running an iOS device, and will be installed by the dealership at point of sale.
Honda announced the news in a press release, and although iOS 5 offers Siri compatibility, the technology will only be available to those running on iOS 6. This is because, as announced by Apple back at last year’s WWDC, the iOS 6 version of Siri has gained a new “Eyes Free” feature, and although not much has been made of this by Apple since the revelation, General Motors announced late in 2012 that it would be the first of many car manufacturers to implement the technology in its automobiles.
If you’re not a Honda fan, there are plenty of other manufacturers offering the Siri option in the not-so-distant future. These include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota.
Eyes Free takes the hands free approach to a new level, completely minimizing distraction while also allowing a driver to interact with their device. While smartphones are infinitely useful in enhancing our everyday lives, they become a potential liability when on the road, but Eyes Free means Siri can perform a bunch of tasks while allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road ahead, as well as hands on the wheel.
Unfortunately, there are few details on pricing and availability just yet, but it looks as though Honda and GM want to get in there before many of the other car manufacturers hop aboard the bandwagon.
Although I don’t feel Siri is as refined as it could be, it’s good to see it utilized towards the ongoing improvements in road safety.