wolframbestbuy
Specialized search engine Wolfram Alpha, one of Apple's launch partners for Siri, has partnered with Best Buy to deliver shopping results. As a result, iPhone 4S users can now search a number of products and categories from Best Buy's catalog, and get prices and descriptions returned.

From Wolfram Alpha's blog post announcing the feature:

Just in time for the holidays, we’re introducing a new functionality that provides consumers with a unique approach to shopping. By leveraging data from Best Buy’s public APIs, Wolfram|Alpha users will now be able to browse more than 35,000 appliances and consumer electronics products. Wolfram|Alpha’s intuitive natural-language interface helps you hone in on the precise products you need, while its powerful data visualization capabilities give you an innovative overview of any shopping category.

Simply ask Siri "wolfram iPhone 4S" or "wolfram samsung television" and it quickly returns Best Buy shopping results. It's certainly not the easiest way to search Best Buy's website and occasionally returns fairly useless results, but it is another example of the potential uses for the Siri's contextual voice recognition technology.

Top Rated Comments

HiRez Avatar
143 months ago
Am I the only one who's not crazy about this? All of a sudden, Siri is a biased advertising machine. I understand the utility for shopping-related searches could be useful, but right now anything and everything gets funneled to Best Buy. Maybe they add more stores eventually, but who decides who gets priority? Whoever pays Wolfram the most? And are we going to see shopping related things impinge on our other searches? For example, if I ask Siri about "how to make hot chocolate", am I going to be sent to the Swiss Miss web site? If I ask for "car reviews", will I be sent to Chevy or Ford instead of actual reviews? If I ask about "Acapulco", will I get a bunch of travel and airline results? It's not much of a stretch to imagine it sliding that way over time. It could end up so it's not worth separating the signal from the noise, like how now in Google searches, you often end up with 10 pages of "BizDealsPlus" type links instead of what you were looking for.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
locust76 Avatar
143 months ago
"Wolfram 'Lost credibility'"
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
autrefois Avatar
143 months ago
Why are some people upset about this? It just pulls the pricing data and pictures from Best Buy. It doesn't even give you a link. I think it's a pretty cool feature, and I can see it expanding in the future.
Saying "Wolfram iPhone 4S Best Buy" and getting results for Best Buy would be a cool feature. The way it is now though sounds like they're going in the wrong direction and crossing the fine line between trying to provide a service and give users info they want, and doing advertising regardless of / in spite of what the user wants.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmwebs Avatar
143 months ago
Given that Best Buy have just gone bust here in the UK (less than 2 years after launching), I'm guessing we wont see it working here :rolleyes:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
minivini Avatar
143 months ago
Am I the only one who's not crazy about this? All of a sudden, Siri is a biased advertising machine. I understand the utility for shopping-related searches could be useful, but right now anything and everything gets funneled to Best Buy. Maybe they add more stores eventually, but who decides who gets priority? Whoever pays Wolfram the most? And are we going to see shopping related things impinge on our other searches? For example, if I ask Siri about "how to make hot chocolate", am I going to be sent to the Swiss Miss web site? If I ask for "car reviews", will I be sent to Chevy or Ford instead of actual reviews? If I ask about "Acapulco", will I get a bunch of travel and airline results? It's not much of a stretch to imagine it sliding that way over time. It could end up so it's not worth separating the signal from the noise, like how now in Google searches, you often end up with 10 pages of "BizDealsPlus" type links instead of what you were looking for.
This was my first reaction, as well. Still using the iPhone 4, but will have the next iteration. I have been very interested in Siri, but if it's engine is available for advertising I just completely LOST interest. This feels (to me) like an academic researcher suddenly getting caught taking a money from a corporate entity under the table. Once that credibility is gone, it's gone for good. Even if there's an opportunity to opt out of ad service, I'll always believe the results will be skewed towards corporate backers. Too bad. Siri seemed too good to be true.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JBaker122586 Avatar
143 months ago
I got that too. I had to say it like "wolf-rum."

I can't get it to understand stuff such as Skyrim or PlayStation 3, and it for other things, like Steve Jobs Biography, it just goes to the wrong thing, like the Wolfram page on Steve Jobs in that case. So not very useful yet.

Because "Wolf-rum" is the correct pronunciation...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
rapid security response

Apple Releases Another Rapid Security Response Update for iOS 16.2 Beta Users

Monday November 28, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released a Rapid Security Response update that is available for those running the iOS 16.2 beta, marking the launch of the second RSR update since the feature was released in iOS 16. The Rapid Security Response Update is designed to provide iOS 16.2 beta users with bug fixes without the need to install a full update. The initial RSR release for iOS 16.2 beta users was a test with ...
twitter elon musk

Elon Musk Claims Apple Has 'Mostly Stopped' Offering Ads on Twitter and Is Making Moderation Demands

Monday November 28, 2022 10:42 am PST by
Apple has cut back on its Twitter advertising, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet, Musk said that Apple has "mostly stopped" its Twitter ads, asking if Apple hates "free speech." Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should "publish all censorship actions" taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had moderation discussions ...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...