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Talk about hardware hacking!

Priya KuberDecember 2nd, 2011

Marcus with his hack

We all dream of a technology matching the Jetsons someday. And there came Siri, so close to a personal assistant to a gadget-lover. Here is Siri taken to the next level by Marcus Schappi, who dreams of using it to automate his home next.

An Australian man has become one of the first to hack the iPhone 4S voice recognition app Siri but his motives were not sinister – he wants to use the smartphone as a home automation tool.

He joins another Sydney developer and founder of Remember the Milk – a task manager app for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms – in hacking Siri.

Mr Schappi says his hack could allow users to do simple tasks such as turn their air conditioning on or off, control their home entertainment or alarm system and unlock their front door or car.

But the hack may not last long, with Mr Schappi predicting Apple would want to close the hole he exploited.

To understand how the hack works one must know a bit about how Siri operates. It sends “voice packets” to Apple’s servers. The tech giant’s computer servers then provide voice recognition on these packets and returns a string of text.

To cap it all, it does not involve the jailbreaking of the iPhone!
Mr Schappi described the set-up as “relatively inexpensive”. It uses what is known as an Arduino board with an Ethernet port ($69.95), at least two Arduino compatible relay modules or electronic switches ($13.50 each) and one wireless mains remote ($24.95), bringing the total to $121.90.
Mr Schappi is the director of Little Bird Company, an electronics ’boutique’ as he puts it.
[Via: The Sydney Morning Herald]