If Siri is a Virtual Assistant, Winston is Your Personal News Anchor

If you’ve ever wanted to have Siri do more than just respond to requests, check out this video. It’s an early demo of Winston, a new conversational assistant which was developed by Aaron Ting and Jarod Stewart. Have you ever wanted to your own personal assistant follow you around and keep you up to date on news, that’s Winston.

Winston finds the news you want to hear by pulling to from your social networks, reader apps, and elsewhere. It was inspired by a shortcoming that the developers saw in how users might interact with smart TVs.

“We were thinking about Smart TVs, and realized that even if you put a really sophisticated web browser on a Smart TV, a lot of your online social addictions and news addictions are lean-forward, text-heavy experiences that you wouldn’t want to consume from your couch. So we decided to build an app that could take all of this text-heavy content and turn it into an audiovisual newscast – an experience that you can listen to and watch.”

All I’ve seen so far is the video, and I’m loving the idea. But Winston is still limited to jsut reading you the news; it currently lacks the interactivity of Siri. I think I can live with that; I’m really looking forward to using Winston in the car.