Evi proves popular for iPhone 4S-less smartphone users wanting a Siri alternative
Cambridge-based startup True Knowledge has released a voice-activated personal assistant app for iPhone and Android smartphones.
Evi is able to answer questions posed by the user just like Siri on the iPhone 4S, but is available on all iOS and Android devices.
According to Technology Review, Evi uses a semantic database which features hundreds of millions of data points developed over several years for web searches. This database has been structured and tagged to add meaning and context and allows Evi to understand concepts such as people, places and colours so it can answer questions.
While Siri is aimed more at interacting with other apps on the phone to perform tasks such as setting alarms, reminders and making calls, Evi is aimed at answering questions. True Knowledge hopes that its database, along with outside sources such as Wikipedia, BBC and Yell.com will give it the edge in this aspect.
Evi is available on the App Store for 69p and on the Android Market for free and its resulting popularity has caused it to be popular with mobile users.
When TechWeekEurope UK tried the app on an iPhone 4, Evi was at first unable to answer our questions, stating “Due to overwhelming demand, my servers are overloaded. My creators are working flat out to resolve this issue and we hope to have it resolved in the near future.”
However it was eventually able to tell us the time, our location and where the nearest Subway restaurant was without any problems.
Siri was preloaded onto the iPhone 4S, which sold four million units during its first weekend on sale. However the app has continued to struggle with strong accents and has been blamed for a dramatic increase in mobile data use. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has not been impressed with Siri and claimed that the voice recognition software on the Android was superior.