Siri is the iPhone 4s killer feature for motorcycle riders
At first glance the iPhone 4s is an incremental improvement from the previous version. The pundits have blasted it as being a boring, yawn inducing, upgrade, and as an iPhone 4 owner, I had agreed with them. Until I acquired another piece of interesting technology and in the process, uncovered the iPhone 4s’s killer feature.
The Scala Rider G4 is an in helmet bluetooth device that lets the rider communicate with the outside world from the back of her motorcycle. I was motivated to pick up the G4 before a road trip down to Oregon so I would have a handy way to listen to music, and accept the occasional phone call on the 5 hour ride. The G4 worked perfectly, except for the occasionally miscommunication between myself and the iPhone itself. The iPhone 4s uses the old school voice control app which is usable, sort of, but it’s nowhere near perfect. I’ve gotten in touch with a few old friends unexpectedly (Matt Andersen and Mike Andreessen sound really similar…)
If I’m completely honest, I believe Siri to be kind of a parlor trick, fun and flashy but somewhat useless for a majority of tasks. Off of the bike I get the most use out of Siri when I grow weary of trying to tap out long messages. Dictating to Siri instead of entering text via the on screen keyboard can be a huge time saver. The integration with Wolfram Alpha is fun but not earth shattering. Dictating reminders is nice. All periodically handy features that have an equivalent, likely superior alternative.
Unless you ride a motorcycle.
On a motorcycle you have this fantastically capable device in your pocket, that you simply can’t make use of. Sure it’ll play music, and if someone calls you, you can answer, but the metaphorical road runs out after that.
The true excitement behind Siri is not what you can do in your office, or at home, but what you can do between those places.
I will have Siri read texts to me while I’m riding. I’ll dictate responses back to her. If I feel like listening to some music, I can ramble off a command to shuffle some high rated songs and Siri will figure it out. If I have a random factual question that is bugging me, or something I need to add to a shopping list or todo list, Siri will help take notes for me. The list goes on and on.
I think Apple is stepping into a big void and offering a solution to a problem for which no one has taken ownership… what do you do about all these phone related car accidents? How do we help people take their eyes off their phones and put it back on the road?
Texting while driving? I have no reason to do that anymore…