Developer hacks Siri to start car engine

By Lee Kaelin on November 29, 2011, 9:30 AM

Apple's iPhone 4S launch in October saw the beta release of the company's new voice assistant, Siri. Since then developers have been working away releasing all kinds of weird and wonderful hacks for the new voice service. Among the many different uses people seem to have found for Apple's Siri service, the latest addition to its "powers" repertoire stands out -- Siri can now start your car's engine, and even turn it off.

Developer, engineer and self-proclaimed tech enthusiast Brandon Fiquett has found a way of using Siri to execute voice commands controlling his Acura TL. In a blog post on his site, he detailed how it all worked: "I created a new ruby plugin that is used by plamoni's "Siri Proxy", a proxy server for Apple's Siri assistant. This proxy server allows for the creation of custom plugins that can intercept recognized speech and perform virtually any function imaginable (programmable, scriptable)."

"The Siri Proxy plugin I wrote handles interaction with a php script that runs on my web server. The php script, which I developed months ago for personal use, allows me to send commands to my car which has a Viper SmartStartmodule installed," he explained.

So assuming you have a Siri-enabled Apple device, Viper's SmartStart installed in your car, and some patience this should be possible for all. The current commands Siri accepts are "vehicle arm, vehicle disarm, vehicle start, vehicle stop, vehicle pop trunk, and vehicle panic."

It works by sending the voice request from Siri to the Viper server, which is then relayed to the cellular connection in the car. From there it broadcasts an update by RF to the remote control activating the requested function.

Piquett has made the Siri proxy plugin and the SmartStart php script available on Github for those that are curious of how it all works, or want to try it out for themselves.

A couple of weeks ago hackers reverse-engineered the Siri voice assistant making it work on almost any device with a valid Apple unique identifier, which is required in order to identify the device on Apple's dedicated Siri servers.




User Comments: 7

Got something to say? Post a comment
lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm not that impressed, really. I saw an article on Engadget the other day where some developer students were giving commands to Siri with their thoughts. After <i>that</i>, this is a piece of cake.

Guest said:

And in next weeks news...'Brandon Fiquett's car has been reported stolen'

:)

Hasbean said:

What a fantastical thing! Technology is certainly wonderous.

Instead of going to all the effort of pressing a button on the car key fob, you can command the car from your phone simply by unlocking the phone with your 4 digit pin code, navigating to the siri app and wait for the app to translate your voice command, hopefully the first or second time after encountering the wind noise and rain.

Surely can't take more than thirty seconds to complete the task. Where would we be without these major advances.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

It is very useful in winter, to start-up the engine and have it and the saloon warm up by the time you get inside.

Marv Marv said:

Hasbean said:

What a fantastical thing! Technology is certainly wonderous.

Instead of going to all the effort of pressing a button on the car key fob, you can command the car from your phone simply by unlocking the phone with your 4 digit pin code, navigating to the siri app and wait for the app to translate your voice command, hopefully the first or second time after encountering the wind noise and rain.

Surely can't take more than thirty seconds to complete the task. Where would we be without these major advances.

Hehe, my sentiments exactly. Heaven help you if you have a non-US accent too.

Guest said:

Now.. Now... You can tell me most of you haven't done something just for the sake of going it. Even if it doesn't make a lot of sense. :)

Hasbean said:

True...I once asked a RadioShack "technology consultant" to explain how wireless printing works from my computer to the printer even though they were bought from different places. :-) Didn't make a lot of sense but filled in half an hour while the wife was buying more shoes.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.