A new patent that has come to light in the past day or two has shown how Apple is actively putting resources on pushing new limits with Siri and its core capabilities. In fact, Apple originally filed for the patent almost two years ago in 2016, but it has only just been made public now.
So, whispering… we’ve all been there, sat in the office and asked Siri for some help on something – discreetly – and had a louder response than you would have liked. But what if new updates saw Siri able to whisper back its response?
Basically, the newly-sourced patent covers how Siri could detect when you’re whispering and then replies back in a whisper too.
Apple writes in the patent that it manages “a digital assistant that is capable of detecting a whispered speech input and providing a whispered speech response.”
Apple adds that there are a few use cases for a whispering Siri. For example, Apple writes that it could be used in a library where “speaking loudly may be prohibited.” Furthermore, Apple says having Siri whisper would help users respect their co-workers while “working at a cubicle.”
As you would anticipate with such a feature, Apple does also touch on the fact that the privacy concerns and how the whispering option could be helpful. If you were able to whisper to Siri and have her whisper back, it would, in theory, mean that more sensitive information could be shared via the voice assistant.
There’s no doubt that this potentially-new addition to Apple products would likely be a challenging feature to apply – we’ve all been there when you’re fighting with Siri over what you’re saying and what she hears! Apple has even gone on to mention in the patent that there’s the potential for Siri to recognise the tone of voice you are using and respond in a similar tone.
Before we get carried away, for anyone who isn’t aware, patents aren’t always set-in-stone-style blueprints for exactly what’s to come. It is true though that they provide insight into what kind of work Apple is beavering away on, now that the iMac Pro has been released.
The team at Apple definitely see Siri as an important part of the brand’s future, with the voice-activated assistant set to play a bigger role for the company as we move forward. This is mainly down to the work that Apple is doing on its smart home platform, which will take another progression with next year’s launch of its HomePod. Apple’s Siri-enabled speaker tech will provide undoubtedly stiff competition for existing tech such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, powered by Alexa and Google Assistant, respectively.
What are your feelings on Apple adding a Siri whispering feature and more human-esque speaking behaviour? Would you buy refurbished Macs that offered this feature? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!