Intel's Jarvis is a smarter, faster Siri that works offline

Credit: Intel

When you ask Siri or Google's voice search a question, no matter how simple it is, they have to think about it for a second or two. As you likely know, those brief moments of tedium are spent sending your question to the mass-consciousness of supercomputers through the Internet and waiting for a reply. Depending on your cell coverage, it could actually take a while for these virtual assistants to get back to you, if they do at all. Intel decided to do something about the matter, developing a new virtual assistant capable of doing its job with or without the Internet.

Named after Tony Stark's iconic assistant, Jarvis is a virtual assistant encased in a Bluetooth earpiece. Intel first showed off a prototype of the headset at CES 2014. Jarvis is housed in a mobile processor within the headset that also boasts a speaker, a pair of microphones and a battery said to last "all day". When paired with your smartphone, Jarvis can create calendar events, set timers, play music, adjust settings and even open apps like Google Maps without the need for the Internet. To charge Jarvis at the end of the day, simply drop it in its wireless-charging bowl, as if it were your set of keys.

When a signal is available, Jarvis can do much more, even coordinating with other existing virtual assistants like Siri so as to give you the easiest user experience possible. We should mention that Jarvis' software itself isn't Intel's baby. That honor goes to a third party, rumored to be Nuance. Intel's job was building the chip capable of housing an offline virtual assistant while also making sure Jarvis could properly pick up your commands. Intel doesn't seem to want to manufacture these earpieces itself, though. The chipmaker would much rather license its tech to smartphone manufacturers, so if and when Jarvis does hit stores, this little thinking headset will likely look a bit different than it does today.

Quartz, via Electronista

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