Saturday, December 17, 2011

Google’s Siri codenamed Majel, launching shortly?

Google’s Siri codenamed Majel, launching shortly? - The geeks among you might recognize Majel as the name of Gene Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett, who voiced much of the on-board computery stuff in Star Trek.

Incidentally, I’ve never understood Star Trek. Gimme Star Wars any day.

Google already offers Voice Actions - or Jeannie, as it was recently renamed - which entertains commands such as “Send text to [recipient] [message]” and “Listen to [artist/song/album]” for those who can’t be bothered exercising their digits.

However, Majel, as it’s currently codenamed, will reportedly be less rigid and allow for more natural commands a la Siri.

The NYTimes is touting a 2011 release for Majel, which essentially translates as: “within the next couple of weeks” at this stage.

Am I the only person who’s not convinced by voice recognition? Too many accents, man, and it’s well hard for folk like us fae Glasgae, ken? Not to mention multi-national hybrids like Jan.


  1. Yeah, accents are a problem. And I hate unnecessary contacts with cloud services. If Siri or Majel did the job on the device that'd be an achievement.

  2. This article must be wrong, Android fans were telling me Siri was a gimmick.

    Hell even Andy Rubin himself said this was useless, only 2 months ago:

    "“I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant, Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.” Andy Rubin at AsiaD.

    He wouldn't go back on his word so quickly, would he?

  3. I find Vlingo very useful whilst driving, but the recognition is hit and miss!

  4. Like Jobs saying, "search on mobiles just ain't happening", or, "people don't want multitasking" (promptly reiterated by Ballmer when WP7 was launched)???? They all talk trash... The half-life of words


Majel is an evolution of Google’s Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing. Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like “send text to…” or “navigate to…”, Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions.

Speaking of actions, it sounds like only Google search queries will be included with the initial release, that could come as soon as this year. I say this year because I’ve heard that engineers at Google X are working around the clock on finishing the first release and the NYTimes previously reported that one product would be released by Google X this year.