Thursday, December 15, 2011

Google to launch Majel, voice of the Enterprise computer, to combat Apple's Siri

SILICON VALLEY - Apple's Siri is a fun add-on to your iPhone, no doubt about it.  A little creepy, yes, but nonetheless cool.

Not to be outdone, Google has announced it will launch a similar service in January or February of 2012. The kicker? Google's app will be named after Star Trek legend Majel Barrett, who provided the voice of the ship's computer in most of the Star Trek franchises. including 2009's JJ Abrams reboot, which was released shortly after Barrett's death at the age of 76.

Scotty tries to talk to a computer in the 1980s,
from Star Trek IV
Barrett also played "Number One", the second in command of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek pilot, Nurse Chapel through many episodes of the original series, and the irrepressible Lwaxanna Troi, daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed, the Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed (and don't you forget it!) in Star Trek: the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

In real life, Majel was also a homewrecker I mean, married to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and father of Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry.

Regardless, this is an insanely cool development and makes me incredibly happy I bought an Android phone. I had a little bit of Siri-envy, I'll admit it, but the fact that this will be a Google product (and therefore probably tied into Google Maps, Youtube, and other members of the vast Google data empire) makes me even happier. The icing on the cake is the Star Trek tie-in.

This has been a long time coming, since Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier indicated that services like Siri would create a problem for Google's business model (ie, without a visual interface there's no place to put ads), so this should hopefully keep the house of BigData sated for a while.

And give the rest of us a Star Trek fix in the meantime.

What about the rest of you androids and robots? Is anyone getting a Droid or iPhone for Christmas/Robannukkah and does this sway your purchasing decision in any way?

Citizen-Bot appears courtesy of BigShinyRobot! where this story originally appeared here.

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