When Stacey Gleeson noticed on the baby monitor that her daughter had turned blue, she ran into the nursery with iPhone in hand. She dropped the iPhone in panic as she began to perform CPR on her daughter’s still body. Then, she remembered Siri, and shouted at the iPhone to dial for the emergency service.
“I picked her up and sat down with her on the floor and as I checked her airways… I looked over and remembered my phone,” Stacy Gleeson told the Daily Mail.
“’Hey Siri, call the ambulance,’ she yelled, prompting her mobile to automatically dial for help,” reported Australia’s 7 News. “And then before I knew it, the ambulance was on its way and Giana was breathing again,” the mother told news media.
Siri can be activated on iPhones to respond to voice commands. Not all iPhones have this capability, but Mrs. Gleeson had an iPhone 6S that was fully equipped with this functionality. Users can go to the settings section of the phone and activate the feature “Hey Siri,” which then stays on as long as the phone is turned on. Users can also simply say “Hey Siri” to the iPhone 6S to activate the program that responds to voice commands.
“I’ve only had the phone since the start of the year. I had played around with Siri; I thought it was a fun feature. Now I have that feature turned on all the time and it will never be turned off again,” Mrs. Gleeson told BBC.
She had used “Hey Siri” before to call her husband, who is on tour duty with the Australian Navy. Mrs. Gleeson had found it quite convenient to call her husband on speakerphone while getting her children ready for bedtime. Now, she feels that the amusing feature has saved her daughter’s life.
“As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted to say thank you…Saving me the trouble of having to physically dial emergency services was a godsend,” she told the BBC.
Mrs. Gleeson believes she would have had trouble dialling emergency services even if she had had the iPhone in her hand because she was panicking. Mrs. Gleeson managed to clear her daughter’s airways when the ambulance arrived, which she might not have been able to do had her hands been busy with a phone.
Grateful, Mrs. Gleeson had informed Apple of the incident. Apple informed local news media, and the story has since gone viral.
Siri’s voice commands are powered by Apple’s M9 motion coprocessor, which is directly integrated into the iPhone’s A9 chip. The M9 motion coprocessor also powers an accelerometer, a compass, a gyroscope, and a barometer available on the latest iPhone models.
“The integrated M9 works so eﬃciently and intelligently that Siri is always on and waiting for your voice commands,” Apple told the Daily Mail.
First launched in 2011, Apple has big plans for Siri in the future. Apple may open source the development of Siri to third parties through a dedicated software developer kit (SDK), tech news outlet The Information has reported. Apple is also rumoured to push Siri’s capabilities and embed her into a speaker device much like Echo by Amazon.
Siri’s features and ability to integrate with other apps are largely limited at the moment. Apple hopes to change this with the SDK, which will most likely be launched during the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Google all are competing to develop the best voice-activated smartphone solutions. Amazon released Echo, which responds to natural language, last March, and Google recently unveiled Home, a small speaker that responds to voice commands and comes with a skin that matches the interior decor.