Apple's spoken natural language user interface Siri has perhaps garnered more than its fair share of attention since its introduction this year. The developer community has naturally shown great interest in this iOS mobile-centric technology given the ubiquity and uptake of Apple's products in recent years. No surprise then to find that a St Louis-based programmer known as @plamoni has built a means of running a proxy server on his desktop PC to fool Siri into thinking it is talking to Apple's servers.
According to the GitHub project page describing this "tampering" proxy server, "Siri Proxy is a proxy server for Apple's Siri assistant. The idea is to allow for the creation of custom handlers for different actions. This can allow developers to easily add functionality to Siri. The main example I provide is a plugin to control my thermostat with Siri. It responds to commands such as, 'What's the status of the thermostat?', or 'Set the thermostat to 68 degrees', or even 'What's the inside temperature?'"
The result of this project may well prove interesting to developers who are looking at hacking Siri to work on iPhone versions prior to 4S, upon which Siri currently ships. This also represents a potential opportunity for hackers to try and extend the functionality of Siri itself into third-party applications, something that is not currently possible given that Apple has not released a Siri SDK.
The proxy server itself acts as an interfacing mechanism and intercepts Siri commands before returning answers. As a neat addition, @plamoni even hooked up his room's thermostat to physically work with his project's end result. You can view a demo at YouTube.