Google’s Siri Response Codenamed Majel, Could See End of Year Release

With an abundance of Android developers creating Siri clones, replicas, replacements, competition, etc. you may have had your fill of personal assistants. Three that we have written about include Cluzee, Iris and Speaktoit. Well Google has been working on a secret project in response to Apple’s Siri. Codenamed Majel, this project looks to bring an evolved version of Google’s Voice Actions, as seen on most Android phones. For those that don’t get the reference, Majel is named after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry aka the Federation Computer voice from Star Trek.

Voice actions required you to use specific commands such as “send text to…” or “navigate to…” where, like Siri, Majel will allow actions to be performed in your natural language. Google search queries will also be included with the initial release, which could come this year. It is suggested that the release is slated for this year because the folks over at Android and Me heard that Google X engineers are working around the clock to finish the first release. The also heard that the folks at the New York Times previously had reported that a product would be released by Google X this year. As you know, December is about half way over so that may not happen but controlling phone actions and applications with natural language commands is expected to come later.

In an interview with Google’s Matias Duarte by Slashgear hints were dropped about the future of Android’s Voice actions. Matias was quoted to say:

“Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer.”

Even with the “it’s just Computer” approach you can expect greatly enhanced voices that sound more fluid and human. This is thanks in part to Google’s Phonetic Arts acquistion at the end of 2010.

There aren’t any details yet but they will eventually surface. I am pretty excited about this and look forward to using it. What do you guys think? Is this pretty cool or no?


[via Android and Me]

About the Author: Jack Holt

Jack is a tech enthusiast who is surviving small-town Wyoming. He's a newspaper editor by trade and a blogger for fun. His phone of choice is the Galaxy Note 4 and when he's not tinkering on that, he can be found researching new tech and wondering if his wallet can sustain a new tech purchase. When he's not in front of a computer, he's out in the mountains with his dog exploring the wilderness.

  • Anonymous

    I can hardly wait!

  • Anil

    Majel ? Atleast @Google should make sure to name it as  GLaDOS or Wheatley :) #portal

  • Gregory Opera

    Who cares about whether it sounds human or not? Google (and everyone elese for that matter!) need to work on the accuracy- when 85%+ accuracy can be achieved, I’ll use it for just about everything on my phone (which I’d prefer anyway)…

  • Guillermo Martinez

    This is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to having a voice assistant right on my Android phone.

  • Guillermo Martinez

    This is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to having a voice assistant right on my Android phone.

  • Jason Adams

    Still nothing like Siri.  These clones out there are worthless.  I hope googles attempt is better.

  • Brandon Coan

    I’m excited, to say the least.  And I must admit, seeing it codenamed Majel is such a fitting tribute to the voice of the first computer many of us were ever introduced to :)

    Rock on, Google!

  • Trekkor

    If they could actually get it to sound like Majel’s voice it would be awesome.  Obviously, that’s not the most important part…but it would still be pretty cool.

  • Matt Schuh

    But will it get me ‘Earl Gray. Hot.’?

  • Trek47

    As a Trekkie, I’m truly touched by the tribute google is paying by giving it the codename majel!!!!! I just hope it begins the process of that truly seamless control given by the star trek computer