I find it interesting that Siri -- as with so many computer generated voices -- is female. One explanation I've heard for choosing a woman's voice for instruction and interaction is that people generally take instruction more easily from mom than dad.
This reminds me, too, of some CGI effects in more recent sci-fi movies, or even in Twin Peaks, when Josie dies and her spirit--or maybe the spirit of evil Bob but looking like her, we're not sure which--gets caught in the dresser drawer knob--the shape of her face trying to break out of the knob's material looks kind of like this.
I like your HAL analogy, Alex. I definitely think Apple users tend to give Siri that deference.
As far as the bigger takeway for the engineering audience, special effects software aside, it's really more about the now accessible 3D design software and 3D print services that allows the average lay person or professional designer, in this case, to put their idea to "3D paper," so to speak, and see a tangible representation of what they envisioned. I grant you Siri is pretty etherial, but lots of ideas are until you see a physical representation. This is just a fun example of what's possible as 3D print services and 3D design and modeling software become more mainstream.
What can one say? An etherial representation of a non existant entity that Apple users like to communicate with as if she were a real person. Like HAL in 2001. Actually, the visual representation accompanying this story reminds me of The Mummy movies from circa 2000, where the creature reanimated via some nice CGI effects. So it's all about the software, I guess.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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