Jerome R. Bellegarda is one of Apple's leading Spoken Language Group engineers. He's been involved in writing many of Apple's patents over the years relating to Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech Synthesis. He's written a book on Latent Semantic Mapping and has spoken at the Human Language Technology Conference on comparative analysis of semantic inference, a presentation partly sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. Suffice to say that Mr. Bellegarda is a leader in his field and adds incredible weight to today's patent application titled Context-aware unit selection. What's so exciting about another speech recognition related patent? Well, simply put, it's the first patent in a long stretch of such patents that finally provides us with a glance or glimmer of where Apple might be going with this technology in terms of a commercial application.
Although the heart of this technology is being woven right into the very fabric of OSX, we might be seeing this technology work itself into a future iteration of Apple TV and more directly, into an HDTV system from Apple. According to Apple, one of the systems that their current patent relates to is a network computer which is specifically described as a "Web TV" system. According to Apple's patent, their context-aware technology would also be associated with a "pointing device." In context with a Web TV system, that could only translate to being that of an Apple TV remote. The remote would have to include a microphone to receive the users command, such as "open iTunes" or "open menu." This of course is a speech recognition related patent and therefore is implied by inference that such a relation would be incorporated. Microsoft is planning a similar device approach according to their recently published patent pertaining to a "Magic Wand" (which is a subject for another day). The good news is that this is the second recently published patent illustrating Apple's intentions of advancing Apple TV. Earlier this week, a secretive patent relating to camera technology being hidden within an HDTV display was presented. In Apple's claim #14, Apple pointed to that patent relating to "a computer monitor or a television," and specifically provided an example of the Pioneer deep encased cell structure that was available in Pioneer's plasma high-definition television (HDTV) displays. Apple is playing a game of "cloak and dagger" with their future Apple TV technologies and rightfully so. Why alert the competition that Apple is about to re-invent the television: Shhhh!
Here are five additional patents that Jerome Bellegarda has been associated with over the last few years: Data-Driven Global Boundary Optimization, Representation of Orthography in a Continuous Vector Space, Method and apparatus for assigning word prominence to new or previous information in speech synthesis, Extended Finite State Grammar for Speech Recognition Systems and Multi-unit approach to text-to-speech synthesis.
NOTICE: Patenlty Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or grant is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent applications and/or grants should be read in its entirety for further details. For more information on today's patent application 20090132253, simply feed the patent number into this search engine.