Renowned for their cutting edge technology products, Apple is constantly raising the bar when it comes to innovation, keeping fans consistently happy with the introduction of new products and new features. To maintain its presence at the top of the consumer electronics food chain, Apple’s R&D department has been busily filing patents to protect new ideas.
One of the latest patents for Apple is for the new double circular motion that brings up Siri. The patent relates to the introduction of, and use of, Siri on the desktop and other devices.
The patent is cleverly worded, not just to cover the use of the circular motion on the Apple Magic Mouse, but to incorporate all Apple devices that contain a touch-sensitive surface, including touchscreen graphical user interfaces.
So, whether on a touchscreen or a touch-sensitive peripheral, such as the Apple Magic Trackpad, users can easily call up Siri to aid them in their tasks. Additionally, this new patent describes how performing the Siri call gesture near or in an editing, writing, or mail app will allow Siri to help understand the context of user commands.
Apple recently patented Atomic Task, a powerful multitasking feature. The concept allows multiple tasks to be performed efficiently on a single touchscreen GUI. Specifically, it refers to users calling up the digital assistant to search for something on the Internet while working in a text editor.
For example, when writing about the planets or about the effects of global warming or deforestation, users can simply perform a search for extra information or appropriate imagery without leaving the text editor.
The introduction of Atomic Tasks should help to improve speed and productivity. It promises to augment Siri’s capabilities an intelligent assistant, providing a substantial productivity boost.
If a user working in the text editor commands the digital assistant “Find me a picture of the globe”, Siri “reads” the title and body of the document to understand context, allowing it to deliver the most relevant images based on the commands of the user and the context of the document.
Voice-Triggered Digital Assistant
Every Apple fan knows all about Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. However, this new patent sees Apple taking Siri one stage further. They plan to provide the digital assistant with a voice trigger and are expanding Siri’s abilities, making it compatible with a wider range of Apple devices.
The new patent describes the introduction of a new, energy-efficient voice trigger that awakens Siri to perform voice or speech services. The patent also includes an “always listening” function that makes the digital assistant exceptionally responsive, without putting a significant drain on power.
Apple gives several examples of this useful function, one of which is the ability to make restaurant reservations via Siri, as well as setting reminders. They also highlight this function as an important safety feature, allowing users to interface with their device via speech when it is unsafe or impractical to use the touchscreen UI, such as when driving and requiring directions or information.
Altia, like Apple, turn lofty concepts into reality, focusing on providing the very best user experience. Contact Altia to find out how more about how our software tools help companies develop and deploy state-of-the-art embedded user interfaces.