The Android blogosphere is abuzz that Google might have a Siri killer called Majel out by year-end.
The blog Android and Me has kicked off the frenzy with a post based on details received about the "secret project" in recent weeks: "Majel is an evolution of Google’s Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing. Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like 'send text to…' or 'navigate to…' Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions."
Android and Me reports Majel is being cooked up at Google X, the company’s top-secret lab, and that the technology is expected first for Google searches. Consensus among Android watchers is that Majel is more likely to surface early next year than this month.
Majel won’t be the first or only Android-based Siri alternative. In fact, Macworld's sister title Network World this week published a slideshow on 7 free Siri alternatives for Android, some of which beat the iPhone 4S and Siri to market.
The name Majel might ring a bell for Trekkies, as it comes from the name of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, also the voice of the Federation Computer on Star Trek.
The blog Droid Forums notes that Google no doubt has multiple voice technology projects underway, including those based on technology obtained last year via Google’s buyout of Phonetic Arts.
Geek.com writes that Google has a huge challenge in catching up to or surpassing Siri, which it describes as having “roots in a military DARPA project, and is the culmination of over 40 years of research.”