While Apple’s engineers toil away deep in the heart of their Cupertino headquarters, developers have taken it upon themselves to make Siri even more impressive than usual. Forget about setting reminders and checking the weather — with a little bit of know-how (and a homebrew proxy server), Siri can start your car for you.
Developer Brandon Fiquett is behind this little hack, and boy what a hack it is. Building off the same Siri Proxy server that allowed @plamoni to control a thermostat over WiFi, Fiquett created a plugin that interacts with a PHP script that lives on his own webserver. That PHP script allows Fiquett to send commands to any (registered) car with a Viper SmartStart system, which in this case means his silver Acura TL.
The end result is just as impressive as it sounds: when asked, Siri can fire up his Acura’s engine, pop its trunk, lock the doors, and trigger the car’s alarms (not that anyone really pays attention to them). We’ve seen iPhones do similar things before — Disrupt NY winner GetAround has an iPhone app that can unlock the doors of certain rental cars — but doing it with your voice will add a dash of Knight Rider-esque style to anyone’s day. Phone-toting SmartStart fans will find a lot to love about Fiquett’s hack, not least of which is being able to leave that bulky blue control dongle at home.
Siri certainly has her fair share of shortcomings, but I’m glad to see developers taking Apple’s baby and running with it. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, Fiquett has made both the Siri Proxy plugin and the SmartStart-friendly PHP script available on GitHub — best of luck, and enjoy living out your Knight Rider fantasies.