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Summary:

Patently Apple has dug up a detailed patent for Siri, which goes into a lot of depth about potential future uses, including for online shopping, as a travel service, and as part of a car navigation system or the car’s entertainment system.

siri-use (1)

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.”

  1. Just because they patent the use of siri in all devices doesn’t mean they want to use it in all devices. Apple’s great at patenting things just so other people can’t use them.

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    1. “The patent is long, detailed and goes into a lot of depth about how Siri works and could work…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. ”

      @bob, where does it say they want to use it in all devices? i read a future potential device(s) and that it doesnt mean they’re working on any of these now.

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      1. I was also thinking the same as Bob thought. I assumed this article implied that they (Apple) intented to put Siri into everything given the title: “Will Apple put Siri in everything?”

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      2. @michelle because its phrased as a question, it implies will they put it in everything, not that they intend to put it in everything.

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  2. Brandon Bills Friday, January 20, 2012

    I agree, and cannot imagine myself using Siri on my Macbook… but like you said, perhaps Apple has a product in the works to change my mind? Only time can tell.

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  3. If data finds data, in other words context processing. Then the future interface is not invisible, it’s a dialog. There will be no reason to layout data as we currently do, from blogs to apps. Layout thinking is very limiting for dialogs and or information/knowledge representation. Which can be visual, audio as well as tactile or any combination thereof. The data or large parts thereof will be invisible.
    IBM/Apple([Jeff]/Watson/Siri{?}) know this, who else?

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  4. Erica, in five years you’ll be talking to your computer and your camera.

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  5. It seems like the Apple intelligent automated assistant patent application is very broad with potential prior art in place. I wonder what Microsoft, Google and others will say about this.

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  6. Uhweqhe Jheqhe Sunday, January 22, 2012

    People talk and even curse their gadgets and tools now, and have been doing so since the beginning of time. It past time inanimate objects talked back.

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  7. I want a lot of things only found on iPhone and iPad now for my iMac! Apple but even more than Apple, third party app developers need to get some of the best and logical programs onto OS X! Apps that share/process info from/to iDevice to iMac home or office are particularly important to get onto Macs. A parent/spouse/boss/worker can adjust something on each iDevice and even Macs used by all family members from a Mac at home or work or an iDevice anywhere.

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