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Siri will be able to respond to whispers, according to new Apple patent

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Through a recently released report from U.S. patent records, it was revealed that Apple has been working on Siri and the possibility of implementing a feature that would allow it to identify patterns in the voice of users.

By giving this capability to the system behind Siri, the virtual assistant of Apple products will be able to adapt to the context under which a command is issued, responding loudly or whispering, following the tone of the message received.

Siri wants to respond adapted to each context

Ten years after the beginning of Siri’s history, the initiative behind this research is based on the disadvantageous position that Apple currently finds itself in for the capabilities of its assistant compared to those of its competitors.

Apple applied for a patent (made public on April 1st) that shows the advances that Apple intends to achieve with Siri, to be able to effectively detect certain variations in the sounds within the surrounding environment.

Siri will be able to respond to whispers, according to new Apple patent
Siri will be able to respond to whispers, according to new Apple patent

Proof of Apple’s delay in this matter is the existence of a similar patent, registered by Microsoft in 2019, and the capabilities of other competing assistants such as Alexa, which thanks to its AI already can distinguish different sound nuances.

With this eventual implementation, Siri could respect the emphasis with which it is spoken to, avoiding the discomfort that in certain contexts generates receiving an answer in a loud voice. For example, an everyday case could be forgetting to set an alarm clock. Probably, when speaking to Siri late at night, the command will be issued in a low voice. By adapting to this situation, a whispered response from the assistant could make the experience much more pleasant.

This adaptability of Siri would not be determined solely based on sound intake, as other factors such as the location of the device, its distance from the user, and the time of day would also be considered within the formula.

Siri is not yet capable of recognizing the inflection, pitch, and volume of voice commands issued by its users. With this eventual new function, along with providing a practical utility, Siri would take the opportunity to recover some competitiveness in an aspect that has been neglected for years in its case.

The patent application text lists 156 technical aspects of this system, which is presented having as base elements a microphone, a processor, and memory storing instructions for the system behind this technology, elements common to all devices in which Apple integrates its assistant.

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