A Mac Siri like app (SARAH, from Eureka)

If you haven't been following me on Twitter, I've been working on a Mac Siri app lately during my spare time. The app itself is actually inspired by the smart house named "SARAH" on the tv show Eureka. The app itself is written in Scala, and is free and open source.

It's a lot easier to show you what my version of SARAH is, so here's a video demonstrating a recent version:

As you can see, you can do a lot of fun and useful things with your computer using voice interaction (speech recognition, and voice/speech feedback).

SARAH logs back into my Mac

In a funny twist, I needed SARAH to be able to log back into my computer to control Pandora, and given my previous work with the Java Robot class, it took only a few minutes to get SARAH to do this as well:

The near future of smart homes

After all this work, my brain is now way beyond creating a simple Mac Siri application, and is on to the future of smart homes. The near future is very easy to see:

  • Microsoft XBox Kinect sensors all over the house.
  • Flat panel touchscreen displays or projection systems all around the house.
  • Mac Siri like speech recognition, AI, and talking back to you in a conversational style.
  • A "home" server, like Windows Home from Microsoft, or an iHome server from Apple (or something similar from Google).
  • A third-party market for "home" app developers. (I've already started creating a plugin API for SARAH, and many things you saw in the video above were actually plugin modules.)

To be clear, I'm not saying this is the long-distance future of the smart home, I'm saying it's the near future. All of this can be done now, it's just a matter of time, money, and at least with the speech recognition, a matter of putting up with some nuances.

For the longer term future, here are a few other links:

Reporting live from the future ...