With Apple’s iPhone 4S now solidly on the market, the wave of peripheral devices has begun to gather its ground swell, and will soon be crashing into tech retailers around the world. This morning, the first mists of these devices landed in our inbox, and it’s actually pretty cool.
Dubbed the Iris 9000, this newly launched device allows users to control the Siri voice recognition assistant, which is one of the big new features exclusive to the iPhone 4S, from up to 50 feet away.
On its own, Siri lets users perform a multitude of tasks just by speaking naturally into their phone. Unlike voice recognition artificial intelligence of the past, Siri can understand things like “What’s the weather like today?” or “Change my 3 o’clock meeting to four.” or “Send Mom an emails that says, ‘I want socks for Christmas.’” (You get the point.) Siri then performs the requested task.
To use Iris 9000, simply plug your iPhone 4S into the dock. Iris comes with a small remote, which can easily fit in the pocket. Hit the button on the remote, Siri will chime, and the built-in microphone of Iris 9000 will pick up your commands. Once Siri has an answer, “her” response will play through the speaker of the Iris 9000.
Of course, much of Siri’s functionality – like performing web searches or finding directions to the nearest coffee shop – requires that you be able to see the screen of your iPhone 4S, not just hear what Siri has to say, so that limits the usefulness of Iris 9000.
Iris 9000 can also be used to make calls, like a standard speakerphone device. And the giant red “eye” of Iris 9000 flashes when Siri is speaking, giving you even more of a 2001: A Space Odyssey user experience.
Produced and sold exclusively by ThinkGeek, Iris 9000 is set to launch in spring 2012 (according to the ThinkGeek page, it will be available for purchase on April 18) for a price of $59.99.
Watch a promo video for the Iris 9000 below: