The creators of Siri are coming up with a completely different and more capable virtual assistant called Viv, which is expected to change the way users interact with their devices. Dag Kittlaus, Siri co-founder, and CEO who left Apple five years ago showed off Viv’s capabilities for the first time at TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday.
Viv will be available only for iOS users by the end of the year but the virtual assistant will soon hit other operative systems as Kittlaus said he expects it to be plugged in many different services. He noted that assistants currently available on the market are programmed to do up to 30 things, while Viv is designed to carry out tens of thousands of different tasks on behalf of its user.
At the TechCrunch demo, Kittlaus said Viv will represent the next great marketplace to developers. He asked the virtual assistant to pay his friend Adam for drinks and Venmo popped up with a successful transaction, including the filled-out comments. When he asked Viv to send his mom flowers, Proflowers popped up with a list of arrangements within the assistant’s app, as it is capable of simultaneously handling different services and sources to do a task or generate an answer.
Viv, which means life in Latin, even allowed Kittlaus to filter the results by asking “What about tulips?” and complete the order with a single tap. On stage, Kittlaus also asked Viv to book an Uber for six people from his office to Madison Square Garden and then had to cancel it.
The tech behind Viv
— Android Authority (@AndroidAuth) May 9, 2016
The assistant is capable of all this and more by putting together its 44-step program in just 10 milliseconds. It combines natural language technology to detect user’s intent and something known as dynamic program generation, which means that Viv is able to create its own programming.
“We’re going to use this technology to breathe life into the inanimate objects and devices of our life through conversation,” Kittlaus said, according to a report by Engadget.
When he asked if it would be warmer than 70 degrees near the Golden Gate Bridge after 5pm the day after tomorrow, the virtual assistant immediately showed the right hourly forecast from the Weather Underground app. The apps Viv uses are not required to be installed because it uses them within its own interface.
Unlike Siri, Viv does not have a virtual voice yet but programmers are currently working on it and the voice will be ready by the time the assistant hits the market, according to Kittlaus. Still, it already has an impressive ability to retrieve a very specific bit of data within milliseconds.