Culture

Watch Siri open a garage door

"Open the pod bay doors, Hal." The infamous quote from "2001: A Space Odyssey" gets a modern makeover as a hacker taps Siri and a Raspberry Pi computer to open a garage door.

Be the envy of Apple fanatics on your street with a bit of hardware hacking. Image by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Despite owning an iPhone 5 for several months, I find myself using Siri only when someone else wants to see how it works.

A video created by a Raspberry Pi enthusiast motivates me to learn about Siri's unadvertised side -- as a place where hackers can use special software to teach Apple's voice assistant new commands. One such person found a compelling use for the $35 Linux-based Pi and Siri: the ability to open a garage door with a push of a button and a simple spoken sentence.

The Siri garage door hack comes from engineer Neil Jolley, a U.K.-based tinkerer who originally shared the project on the Raspberry Pi forums. Jolley tapped the highly customizable (and tiny) Raspberry Pi computer to run SiriProxy -- software that allows the user to customize and add functionality to Siri -- and wired Pi to control the garage door system.

Want to emulate this geeky project? Check out Jolley's Siri garage door opener instructions and supplementary code to make your own.