Google Chairman Eric Schmidt sees Apple's voice assistant Siri as a "significant development" that could threaten the Web search giant's business.
"Apple's Siri is a significant development--a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search," Schmidt said during an appearance before a Senate antitrust subcommittee in September. "Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information."
Siri uses the iPhone 4S' built-in microphone to take user commands and turn them into actions on the phone. That includes things that make use of a network connection, like searching the Web, setting reminders, and checking stock prices.
Schmidt and some Google rivals appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee as that panel looked to determine whether Google abuses its power in online search. Some of Google's competitors told senators during the hearing that Google "doesn't play fair" and "rigs" search results.