Home / Technology / News /  Apple to simplify the ‘Hey Siri’ trigger phrase to just ‘Siri’: Report

Apple is reportedly working on a project to simplify the ‘Hey Siri’ phrase to just ‘Siri’. At present, Apple users have to say ‘Hey Siri’ to launch the voice assistant on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and HomePod. But, as per Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is aiming to make this process a bit simpler. “The company is working on an initiative to drop the “Hey" in the trigger phrase so that a user only needs to say ‘Siri—along with a command," Gurman says in the latest edition of his PowerOn newsletter.

He says that the California, Cupertino-based company has been working on the change for several months. If all goes well, the change may come as early as next year or the year after.

While this might seem like a small change, making the switch is a technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work. Apple, as per the report, has been testing the simplified wake word with employees and collecting the necessary training data.

By replacing the existing two-phrase wake word to a single phrase, Apple aims to compete with Amazon’s Alexa which requires users to simply say “Alexa" rather than “Hey Alexa." Back in 2018, Microsoft switched its wake words from “Hey Cortana" to just “Cortana" on smart speakers. Google assistant, on the other hand, requires the cue ‘Ok Google’ or ‘Hey Google’. The tech giant is reportedly working on allowing users to make follow-up requests without repeating the wake word.

“By removing the ‘Hey’ in ‘Hey Siri’ Apple would also, in turn, speed up back-to-back requests," the report says. Gurman, in the newsletter, also says that the iPhone maker is planning to integrate the voice assistant into third-party apps and services. Apple also aims to improve Siri’s ability to understand users and take the correct course of action.

To recall, Siri first debuted on iPhone 4s in 2011. Apple used Susan Bennett’s voice for Siri from 2011 to 2013.

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