Siri - The Next Generation of Appliance Computing?

In my previous post, I discussed the trend toward computing appliances (ie DVRs, Kindles, etc.) instead of general purpose computers.  On the recommendation of Merlin Mann on MacBreak Weekly, I downloaded the Siri iPhone application and gave it a try.  Wow.

The Siri application attempts to be the ubiquitous Star Trek computer.  Just ask it a question and it will give you the answer.  It provides both voice and text interaction modes, and an easy user interface that exposes common feature easily.

It won't do everything you want, and I'm not sure this specific application will be something I use regularly, but at a minimum it provides an interesting example of where the world is going.  Imagine using this with what I imagine will become ubiquitous Bluetooth headsets.  Just ask a question and have the answer spoken to you.  We are not there yet, but we're starting to get really close.

This is an example of what I consider the appliance trend, applied to software.  The application provides easy access to a common (if limited) set of features that are intuitive to use.

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