The launch of the iPhone 4S last year introduced the world to Siri, Apple’s personal voice assistant. Since then, we’ve heard plans from several major mobile phone makers, each of whom are looking to put their own spin on a voice assistant for their handsets.
IBM is also looking to get into this game, but in a slightly different way. You may remember IBM’s Watson from Jeopardy. Big blue would like to introduce this same technology into mobile phones and this will be possible due to new improvements and efficiencies that are coming in both mobile computing as well as battery power. It will take a few years before Watson arrives on the smartphone and by then, the feature will be dubbed Watson 2.0.
However, once it does arrive, it will have a few additional enhancements. In addition to voice recognition, Watson will also receive some visual upgrades that will allow it to recognize pictures. Unlike some of the other digital assistants out there right now, Watson will specialize in supporting corporate customers. Hence, it will be able to manage questions on such things as finance, health care and telecommunications. IBM still has a lot of work ahead of it in order to condense the equivalent of 6,000 workstations into something that will fit in a mobile phone, but it will be interesting to see all of the features that will be available with Watson 2.0.