Apple has wisely chosen to patent its voice assistant Siri, and the Patently Apple blog did what it does best: dug up the patent and dissected it.
The patent is long, detailed and goes into a lot of depth about how Siri works and could work, including as a personalized recommendation service for online shopping, as a travel booking service, and as part of a car navigation system or the car’s entertainment system. Clearly Apple would want to cover its bases when it comes to Siri and its potential future uses. But it doesn’t mean Apple is currently working on any of this. Still, it’s always interesting to get a look at what a secretive company is at least pondering.
The patent also discusses all the different devices that could potentially be Siri-enabled. Writes Patently Apple:
Apple’s patent application lists a great number of devices beyond the iPhone that Siri may service in the future. They include, the iPod touch (a personal digital assistant), iMac (desktop computer), MacBook (laptop computer), iPad (tablet computer), consumer electronic devices, consumer entertainment devices; iPod (music player); camera; television; Apple TV (set-top box); electronic gaming unit; kiosk or the like.
The patent also discusses that the voice-assistant technology could be used in “any operating system such as, for example, iOS or Mac OSX.” Do we want Siri in everything? I’m not sure I want to talk to my computer or my camera. But I will reserve judgment until there is an actual product so I can see what a potential implementation of it would look like.
If you want the nitty-gritty of how Siri works, see the original post. For more about the awesome potential of voice-controlled devices, see Kevin Tofel’s GigaOM Pro report (subscription required) on the topic of “invisible interfaces.”