How Siri Knows When You’re There



During our iPhone 4S teardown, iFixit buddy Markus noted that the new iPhone had a rather unusual-looking black component next to the ambient light sensor. We didn’t make much of a fuss about it at the time since we were knee-deep in disassembly pictures, but the little black box certainly piqued our curiosity. Now that the teardown is wrapped up, we’ve re-opened the mystery and made a neat discovery about the 4S: that black component is an infrared LED, and the little bugger almost always wants to know if you’re nearby.
Video Rating: 4 / 5


19 Responses to How Siri Knows When You’re There

  1. muhammadsshahab says:

    @avinash2904 me too

  2. avinash2904 says:

    Interesting to know. However, I just checked this on my 4S and the IR sensor seems to remain ON even with ‘Raise to speak’ turned off.

  3. DannyC440 says:

    So, that explains why everyone is having poor battery life

  4. camrick says:

    Whoa, wait, what. There is a hot girl talking about tear downs… My mind is blown.

  5. JCRocky5 says:

    This is bull : Siri does not requires the use of a IR Sensor nor would it need one, as Siri is activated buy holding the Home button or pressing the Mic button on the keyboard.

    after 5.0.1 see if the IR Sensor is still active all the time.

  6. bulldogg7000 says:

    @bulldogg7000 I just checked – it does NOT seemed to be the case. The IR emitter is still on with “Raise to Speak” OFF

  7. bulldogg7000 says:

    I think this “prox sensor always on when the screen is on” function can be disabled in Settings->General->Siri Turn OFF “Raise to Speak”

  8. iFixitYourself says:

    @lceus You’d have a point IF the IR on your remote control was on constantly (or whenever the remote was in your hand). Since the IR is only active when you’re actually pressing a button, the remote comparison doesn’t really work. :/

  9. lceus says:

    You guys are stupid, if this was a battery drainer, your remote would be dead after a week or two. Our remote lasts probably a year. on two batteries.

  10. fapandrepeat says:

    Came for the tech, stayed for the attractive and intelligent woman.

  11. iFixitYourself says:

    @larsino34 Yeah, we should have mentioned that you can disable the feature if you want to. Now I want to record this over again! –mj

  12. larsino34 says:

    You can turn this feature off, if I had a iPhone I would do it immediately because this really drains you battery.

  13. SpiritualGorilla says:

    Wow, ingenious. Thanks for sharing. So if instead of bringing the phone close to my ears I just cover the sensor space with my palm, will it record a false positive ?

  14. iFixitYourself says:

    @lionevil1976 Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  15. BBLumber says:

    @vothry I’m pretty sure the display itself takes quite a bit more battery power compared to a little tiny IR LED.

  16. earlbee31 says:

    Yeah !!! Hello battery drainer , well saidb@vothry.

  17. vothry says:

    Hello battery drainer

  18. lionevil1976 says:

    Smart Video

  19. lionevil1976 says:

    WOW!! Nice to know!!

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