More details surface on Siri’s Eyes Free feature

By , Jun 18, 2012

As Scott Forstall rattled off a list of Siri’s new capabilities in iOS 6, there was one particular feature that really stood out: Eyes Free. Apple will be teaming up with auto-makers to take its digital assistant act on the road.

But outside of a list of manufacturing partners, and a brief explanation of how Eyes Free will work, not much else has been said about the new feature. How will it be implemented? And when can we expect to see it?

The folks over at Car and Driver decided to go straight to the source to get some answers. The popular auto magazine talked to engineers from both Chevrolet and Mercedes-Benz to get the low-down on Eyes Free.

“It’s important to first point out that Siri is a software change, both for the car and the phone, and not one that affects hardware—existing voice-command buttons will be used to access the system through a Bluetooth connection. According to an engineer we spoke to, Apple’s software development includes a refinement in how Siri deals with high amounts of background noise—the in-car’s single mic can pick up road, wind, and engine noise that makes it difficult for Siri to comprehend command. Apple has somehow solved the problem with the iOS 6 changes that go along with Eyes Free.”

Once an iPhone is paired with a vehicle, users will be able to activate Eyes Free by holding down or double-tapping the car’s built-in voice command button. The activation method will differ slightly from the system’s default, so users can still access the stock voice commands.

Apple says we can expect Eyes Free to hit the market sometime within the next 12 months. But both Chevy and Mercedes seem pretty intent on having Siri-friendly vehicles out by the end of this year.

It may not seem like it yet, but this is a pretty big deal for Apple. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.

What do you think? Will Eyes Free be a hit?

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  • http://twitter.com/thegabrielk Gabriel K

    Well, one slight bump here… Not everyone with a car has an iPhone 4S

    • http://www.facebook.com/derfaust.mobile Der Faust

      give it a year or two :)….

    • http://twitter.com/jrgibson1 Jayar

      Do you really think Siri and Eyes Free is only going to be available on the iPhone 4S…what about future generations of handsets? I know in Australia most of the 3G/3GS users will be ready to upgrade since their Apple-Care Protection Plan warranty is coming up to its expiration date.

    • http://twitter.com/ahood81 Adam Hood

      Not everyone had a Chevy to get Onstar but Onstar found a way to get the technology into everyone’s car that wanted it. If you want eyes free Siri you will have to get an iOS device.

  • jose castro

    apple is trying to take over the world!!!!!! lol

    • http://twitter.com/jrgibson1 Jayar

      …..and they are only doing what Google has so far failed to do.

      • LUFC_MOT

        Let me clean the mess up off of the floor after my sides split with laughter … It must be good to be as witty as you.

  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    yes it will. With support like this, Apple has that much more advertising going for it AND more of an incentive to use iOS.

  • http://twitter.com/solidsephiroth Sam Irizarry

    This is one of the features I most wanted to see and they just glossed over it. It’ll be really useful…one I get a new car of course.

  • Zorvage

    Samsung couldn’t do this because their products would block the windshield.

    • LUFC_MOT

      What a knob you are, I bet you are one of the people crying about Apple not bringing out a phone with a bigger screen yet here you are, slagging off Samsung … How pathetic some of you Apple fanboys are.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Chambers/1371602241 Nick Chambers

        Because he made fun of how big some of the Samsung products are? I thought it was pretty good.

      • LUFC_MOT

        WOW, 22 people voted my comment down, 22 pathetic homo fanboys no doubt who, despite knowing what I wrote was correct, will never agree because they think the sun shines out of Apple’s anus …. Seriously pathetic are Apple fanboys, it’s almost as laughable as Zorvage’s comment but then I wouldn’t expect any kind of grown up to peruse an Apple blog and be unbiased because I doubt most of you even know what that means.

      • http://twitter.com/thegabrielk Gabriel K

        make that 23

      • Guest

        make that 24. If you can’t manage to have a sense of humor about the size of some of Samsung’s offerings, you need to consider who the real fanboy is in this situation.

      • http://twitter.com/thegabrielk Gabriel K

        make that 23

      • http://www.facebook.com/wafflesmcduff Joshua Goldberg

        @LUFC_MOT: Make that 24…. If you can’t manage to have a sense of humor about the size of some of Samsung’s offerings, you need to consider who the real fanboy is in this situation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/madmankadz Kadeem Kadz Dulice

      HAHAHAHAHA LMAO LMAO LMAO lol lmao lol ROFLMAO !!!!!! … omg !! wow … hmm hehehehe lol SMH .. Geeezus, plus Luxurious vehicles only understand sheep anyway

  • http://www.GoldenGateDomains.com/ Golden Gate Domains

    I really like this idea of a seamless integration in to a vehicle’s system.

    I also commend Mercedes for pushing to get it out later this year. :-)

    Maybe I’ll be in the market for a new Mercedes, even though my 2000 model is still running strong and looks great! The Siri integration is certainly a consideration for me.