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ExtraBITS for 24 July 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple teams up with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to promote Siri, and Google Glass (remember Google Glass?) hits the industrial scene.

The Rock X Siri: Don’t Try This At Home -- Want to see how well Siri works when it’s backed up by a full team of video production editors? Apple has produced an amusing “film” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in which he manages to use Siri repeatedly while doing everyday made-up movie star stuff. We believe all the actual Siri commands he issues could work, although many would require that the iPhone be unlocked. And when we tried to duplicate his commands, Siri failed to understand our words much of the time. Happily, when Siri misheard “read my last email” as “delete my email,” we learned that Siri isn’t allowed to delete emails. Which is a good thing.

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Google Glass Returns… In Factories and Warehouses -- Google Glass, the tech giant’s augmented reality eyewear that flopped in consumer usage due to buggy behavior and privacy concerns, may have found its niche. Companies like agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO and shipment company DHL have discovered that an upgraded version of Glass radically improves productivity for workers who need product assembly instructions or are picking items in a warehouse. The Wired article’s money quote: “In the enterprise world, Glass is not an outgrowth of the intrusive and distracting smart phone, but a tool for getting work done and nothing else.” We may see more movement toward eyewear from Apple if the company’s new augmented reality ARKit technology takes off because it’s a lot easier to see digital data overlaid on the real world through glasses than on an iPhone.

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