This is what Apple’s Siri on steroids might look like

“Imagine if Apple’s Siri voice-command feature could enable users to control both third-party apps on an iPhone or iPad and external connected devices such as thermostats and light switches,” Chris Nerney reports for CITEworld.

“A quartet of freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania went beyond imagining and recently hacked Siri in a way that allows independent developers to integrate apps’ functionality into Apple’s voice-command feature, and iPhone users to verbally ask external apps to perform tasks,” Nerney reports. “Called GoogolPlex (not to be confused with the corporate headquarters of a certain online search giant, the GooglePlex), the hack took third place in February’s PennApps, an annual hackathon that this year featured more than 1,200 contestants.”

“GoogolPlex was created by Penn students Gagan Gupta, Alex Sands, Ajay Patel and Ben Hsu, who collectively call themselves The Four Loop. They came up with the idea for GoogolPlex while brainstorming for PennApps,” Nerney reports. “The group ‘used a man in the middle exploit and a proxy server to intercept Siri requests and redirect them through our own server and user natural language processing to teach Siri new tricks,’ as it explains on the PennApps site. ‘Installation works on any iOS device, even non-jailbroken ones, and it takes less than a minute.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Why would I need to ask my phone to unlock my car? This is dumb. It should already know to it. And when interacting with objects, I don’t want to talk to Siri or GooglePlex. I want to talk to the object, and I don’t want to say its name. I wan to say, “It’s cold” and the temperature would automatically adjust. Come on we are too sofisticsted for this crap. Get it done the right way. We are almost there anyway.

    1. And I want anti-gravity and teleportation. Why can’t I have it…. NOW….!!!

      “Get it done the right way. We are almost there anyway.” I would say from this comment that you were born in the last 15 years or so. There are many reasons that life does not bend over and kiss you royal as* for you. But trust me, it does not.

      And while many of these type things may become standard in the future, you will have to wait a while for them.

      Just saying.

      1. I never said right away. I said do it right. Which means don’t release products that get in the way. It would be easier to change the temperature or unlock a door by myself than to ask middleware to do it. I say, fix this before releasing it. There should be no middleware between me and any object of concern.

        1. What you call middleware I would call one consistent interface that can be accessed within your present environment that all manner of devices can access and plug into. Not sure how it could work reliably otherwise without upgrading whole networks when upgrading at all rather than the central communication core.

          1. I agree, I think it’s like a butler. I used the term middleware because it’s appropriate for technology to be described that way, either way it’s kind of the same thing. Sure a butler is a common interface to a lot of things. It’s efficient for some tasks and not for others. However a butler would know when to unlock the door to your car. You wouldn’t have to ask him to do it. And if you did, then he would loose his job. As far as the infrastructure to make it reliable, a vast majority of tech we use today is based on inferior infrastructure and why it doesn’t work well enough frustrating the average consumer. It’s rather ridiculous that technology fails as much as it does. But we are cheap folks and are willing to buy unfinished designs, beta test on the road if you will, me included. But I think we can do better.

            Don’t forget the Apple Navigator concept video. This is where we should go.

            I think we are close to the Navigator.


    2. While I usually hate folks that correct other’s grammar/typos in blog posts… I can’t help it in this case.

      You’re too “sofisticsted”? That isn’t even phonetically correct! Get off your ass and program your own version if you’re so sofisticsted. Didn’t think so.

      1. Just read what I said and don’t get hung up on how I did it. You obviously can tell I said sophisticated. So deal with it. I will try my best to be grammatically correct and you should try your best to comprehend what I wrote.

    3. Is this a joke, how the hell would technology know how much you want the heat turned up or down, yes it could guess from experience of your previous commands but hardly scientific is it as most humans would be able to get it right based on that command.
      Then why would you want complex human like understanding in every adjustable object when you can have one device (or extension of that device) interpreting your obscure commands and giving each item the basic adjustments you require, in effect you wouldn’t know the difference but far less to go wrong. Overkill otherwise. And how would your phone know when to open your car just because you are in close proximity. I walk by my car all the time. All the things you have described can be done but few in a predictable and reliable, not to mention cost effective way if you want technology to comprehend to that degree without actually telling it what you want. Even a butler would fail that test.

      1. Awesome. This is the kind of response I can appreciate. I agree with the “how” question. However the current flaw in GooglePlex, is that right now I can press a button on a fob, and unlock the car. With GooglePlex, I have to press a button on my phone and ask to unlock the car with at least 3 words. So this is going backwards, in my opinion. As far as temperature is concerned. There is a base line, then minor adjustments that are relative. The system would have to learn what it’s cold or raise the temp, means. But Nest is supposed to learn what you want anyway. I think customers will be able to appreciate that far more than dealing with Siri or GP. Sure you can say, set the temp to 72 degrees and it should do that. Simple words about the temp in the room, directed at no one should be interpreted. We can do this today and is what I mean by “almost there”. Developers need to think about the problem a little further. Right now it’s a gimmick and will be a source of frustration. Just like the Leap, which was supposed to solve some problems but really didn’t.


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.