Covid19 Tech Impact
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Almost a month after enabling its voice assistant Siri to answer queries related to Covid-19 (coronavirus), tech giant Apple has now expanded the services to Indian devices as well.
Apple will now allow users in India to self-assess their symptoms through Siri. Users can ask questions like “How do I know if I have coronavirus” or “Do I have coronavirus?” and Siri will offer its advice based on the symptoms displayed.
Besides this, Siri will also share localised news related to Covid-19 on the request of the users. It will offer audio news briefs gathered from different locations depending on where the request has been made from. In India, Apple will be relying on BBC World Service to source news for its voice assistant.
Apple has also clarified that the US version of the voice assistant service also has additional features. In relation to Covid For instance, the voice assistant also uses the test developed by the US Center for Disease Control to determine potential infection. It also includes links at the end of the quiz to seek help from healthcare providers through apps on the Apple App Store.
Another global tech giant Amazon has incorporated similar features in its voice-assistant Alexa for the Indian audience. The users can raise Covid-19 related questions on the assistant and it will provide answers based on information released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW).
The feature will be available in Hindi as well. Besides this, the Bengaluru City Police has also offered an Alexa skill, which answers questions about social distancing and provides helpline numbers.
Meanwhile, Google has been offering these services through diverse sources like the Covid-19 website, new features on Google Pay, new listings to help out Indian users and tie-ups with the Indian government.
Recently, Google integrated a new feature called Nearby Spot in Google Pay. The new feature allows users to find stores near them for daily essential stores, along with shelters.
Google is also listing details of the food and night shelters set up by the government across the country. In a recent blog post, the company has announced that it has identified more than 1,500 food and night shelters across 33 cities. This feature is accessible through Google Maps, Search and Google Assistant feature in both Hindi and English.