No matter what your opinion of Siri is, you have to admit that it has really sparked an interest in digital assistants. Voice commands and recognition obviously existed long before the feature, but not like this.

And you don’t have to look any further than the competition for proof. Shortly after Apple unveiled its Assistant last fall, other manufacturers started beefing up their voice technology. Samsung, for example, now has its S-Voice, LG has Quick Voice, and there are several others bubbling up…

RIM is the latest phone-maker to try its hand in smartphone secretaries. CrackBerry is reporting that the company has added a Siri-like function to the latest BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha update. Here it is in action:

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP1jl89Eo1s[/tube]

Keep in mind that this is just a developer alpha (which comes before beta), so there’s a chance that this feature could change dramatically before the final BlackBerry 10 release, if it even makes it that far.

Of course, our money is on RIM keeping it around, as it seems like digital voice assistants are more of a necessity for smartphone-makers these days, rather than a luxury. Something that, once again, can be attributed to Siri.

But Apple didn’t just inspire a string of copycats, it actually pushed the technology forward. Many would argue that that new Google Now feature in Android 4.1 is actually better than Siri in several ways. And I’d have to agree.

It’ll be interesting to see where voice recognition tech is two years from now.

At any rate, what do you think of RIM’s digital assistant?