BlackBerry Personal Assistant Is Here To Rival Cortana, Siri and Google Now

blackberry_assistant_interfaceBlackBerry is presently focusing on its own personal assistant dubbed as BlackBerry Personal Assistant in order to compete with Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri and Google Now. The new personal assistant is likely to be aimed towards keeping users productive, engaged, informed and organized throughout the day, offering useful information and helping them with queries.

The first glimpse of the upcoming BlackBerry Assistant was showcased by the company’s social media lead Donny Halliwell on Wednesday, July 16.

Halliwell has been quoted saying that “It is voice activated when I need it to be, and helps manage simple tasks on my device from searching my email and calendar, finding out what’s trending on Twitter, to sending trivia night invitations. The more I use it, the more it learns and adapts to me. The more I speak with it, the more tuned-in to my queries it gets.”

The upcoming BlackBerry Assistant is scheduled to be part of the company’s newly-unveiled BlackBerry Passport.

Halliwell further said that “Like a real-life personal assistant, the BlackBerry Assistant is in lockstep with what I need to do on my Passport, without being distracting or costly (resource-wise). I’m told there are a number of Easter eggs built-in as well, which I can’t wait to stumble across.”… Read the rest

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Another Patent Suit Siri’s Voice-to-Text Feature Haunts Apple

This time its Siri’s voice-to-text feature that has got Apple into fresh trouble. According to a report from Reuters, Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University has filed a patent suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. According to the report, the University has claimed that it owns two U.S patents for the technology that Siri uses in order to translate voice commands into texts and notes.

National Cheng Kung University has said that the patents that it owns were issued in 2007 and 2010. Siri originally started as an artificial intelligence project at SRI International that was funded by U.S. government. Eventually, it turned into an independent company by the name SIRI, in 2007, the company was then bought by Apple in 2010.

Though nothing has been proved yet but if Apple loses this one, then for compensation, the company will have to pay a percentage of its U.S. sales of the devices that has Siri. In a nutshell, this will include sales of all iPhone 4S and iPads that have iOS 6 software, which is expected to enter the market this fall. This means that the university may get a good amount in terms of compensation.

This is one of the many lawsuits that have been filed against Apple regarding its mobile technology. Speculations are that filing charges against international companies has become a kind of trend these days. What has really boosted the courage of companies is the Apple’s decision of settling with the almost bankrupt Proview over the iPad trademark in China, which happened last month for $60 million.

Though at present, Siri has simply sued Apple, but University’s lawyers told Reuters that it is also planning to sue to Microsoft and Google on the violation of same two patents.

 … Read the rest

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