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Apple’s new AirPods put Siri one finger tap away

Without a jack, Siri takes center stage.

The Verge

It’s not surprise to anyone who’s been watching closely: Apple ditched the headphone jack in its newest iPhone.

Its replacement? New, dangling wireless earbuds called AirPods that come with the new iPhone 7. One of the first features Apple announced for the new product hints at Apple’s broader ambitions: Devices that are seamlessly tied to artificial intelligence software — a personalized robot in your phone.

When introducing AirPods, Apple said that a touch sensor lets wearers access Siri, its voice-controlled assistant, with a tap.

Of course, there’s no telling how easily the tap will work. Apple is pushing hard to make Siri smarter and more widely used, but hasn’t proven it can yet.

Other hardware makers have attempted wireless headphones before, with limited success.

The most notable was Motorola’s short-lived Hint device. Motorola’s former chief, Rick Osterloh, is now running hardware over at Google, which has been cooking up some sort of wireless earbud-plus-AI-assistant with a team called Project Aura. If or when that’ll arrive is TBD.

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