Siri has been one of Apple’s biggest success stories this year: a personal organiser that gives disturbing hints that it might be vaguely alive. And now it seems Google is working on a rival, dubbed Majel, which could be released as early as February 2012.
Majel is named after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who provided the computer voice in most of the Star Trek shows. Details of Majel are sparse, but it’s expected that the service will be more natural-sounding and will have a more human voice than the current Voice Actions Android app.
Majel is expected to initially focus only on Google Search, but would eventually expand and become a much more comprehensive tool for searching for information. But it’s not what’s under the hood that most people will be interested in, it’s how the thing sounds. Sadly, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry died in 2008, so it’s unlikely that the new device will sound too much like its namesake.