What it is: Apple acquired Pullstring, a company that lets users create and publish voice-activated apps.
Siri sucks. Despite introducing the world to voice assistants, Siri has constantly lagged behind Amazon’s Alexa. Now Apple is working to fix Siri buy acquiring a company called Pullstring, which lets users create and publish voice-activated apps.
Pullstring’s website claims that their Converse program lets you “Build your conversation visually.” By defining conversation blocks and customizing them, you can define a user’s experience through your voice application.
Instead of dealing with code, Pullstring’s Converse program lets you focus on the overall picture while letting Pullstring’s program take care of the actual voice recognition details. Beyond letting people create voice-activated apps for Siri (and improving Siri’s popularity), Pullstring’s technology will also let developers (hopefully) add voice-activated features to ordinary apps as a supplement.
Right now, Apple offers SiriKit, which lets you add Siri to your apps, but SiriKit is limited to specific domains such as messaging or payments. You can’t customize Siri beyond a limited range of domains that Siri can understand.
Pullstring promises to avoid this and allow developers to creatively add voice recognition to any app simply and easily. This will allow developers to create games that allow voice control in addition to touch control.
For HomePod, Pullstring’s technology allows users to customize Siri on HomePod to allow voice control programming in a simple manner.
Pullstring’s technology likely won’t appear in Apple’s technology any time soon, but expect it to show up in around three years as Apple integrates Pullstring’s technology into their own software framework.
Pullstring’s acquisition is a major one much like Apple’s acquisition of Metaio, which introduced augmented reality. Pullstring will introduce then world to voice-activated programming and app development, and could be as important as Apple’s original HyperCard in letting people create custom programs.
All we have to do is wait a few years to see what happens, but when Apple introduces voice-activated coding, nobody should be surprised.