Apple Patents Sophisticated New Voice Controls
Apple recently filed a new patent application that describes sophisticated voice recognition technology that would allow far greater control over the iPhone than ever before. The iPhone currently includes a Voice Control feature, but it generally goes unnoticed by a vast majority of users.
Apple’s latest patent, entitled “User Profiling for Voice Input Processing
,” describes how an iPhone could be used to perform more complex tasks than is currently possible today. For example: what if you wanted to create a Genius playlist featuring Beck? Just ask for it. Want to call your BFF? Just say their name and you’ll be talking to them in seconds. The patent describes how an iPhone would be able to understand and process extremely complex tasks using nothing more than a few voice commands.
The current beta version of iOS 5 includes several references to new voice recognition technology from Nuance, makers of Dragon Dictate. This will give the iPhone a whole new level of voice control across the entire operating system. If Apple does plan to improve the voice commands on the iPhone, it might signal the beginning of a whole new level of interaction with the device. Imagine never having another fingerprint on your screen again.
When Apple acquired Siri
back in 2010, it was thought that their voice recognition software would be incorporated into a future version of iOS. Since that time, it is unclear what Apple has done with Siri’s software. Currently, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices all have much more robust voice control features than the iPhone. Apple is going to have to play catch-up if they want to stay ahead of the pack.
These days, Apple patents everything under the sun, but most of their patents never see the light of day. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with this one. Before too long, the voice activated computers of Star Trek won’t be science fiction, but science fact.