Patently Apple was first to report that Siri was likely coming to the Mac in Time for iTunes functionality and beyond. Today, Apple went far beyond hinting and clearly presents an invention that will add Siri to the Mac user interface sometime in the future. Apple shows us that Siri will come to the Mac to assist users with email, document searches and editing, opening folders, sending documents to the printer and much more. More than likely Apple will tippy toe into this slowly and logically and all the while adding new functionality where it makes sense. Adding Siri to the desktop further advances Apple's natural user interface.
Earlier this morning we covered Apple's "Hey, Siri" feature and touched on apps for restaurant applications and in-vehicle functionality. A secondary Siri related patent came to light today under the title "Intelligent Digital Assistant in a Desktop Environment," that's advances Siri in a major way on the desktop.
Apple notes that the integration of an at least partially voice-controlled intelligent digital assistant into a desktop, or laptop computer environment provides additional capabilities to the digital assistant, and enhances the usability and capabilities of the Mac environment.
Apple further notes that a well-designed user interface and response procedure can improve a user's experience in interacting with the system and promote the user's confidence in the system's services and capabilities.
Apple later notes that the user device will detect an input gesture from a user according to a predetermined motion pattern on a touch-sensitive surface of the user device; in response to detecting the input gesture, the user device activates a digital assistant on the user device.
Apple finally notes that in some examples the user can utilize other hardware input devices (e.g., buttons, switches, keyboards, keypads, etc.) and a voice input device in combination with the touch screen, touchpad, and/or mouse of the user device to receive multi-modal instructions from the user.
Examples of Siri on the Desktop
Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and so you'll find below a series of Apple's patent figures confirming Siri on the desktop could be the beginning a next generation natural interface for Macs.
Siri for Desktop Email
Siri for Document Sorting
Siri Assisting in Document Editing
Siri for Opening a Folder
Apple credits Julian Missig, Jeffrey Bernstein, Avi Cieplinski, May-Li Khoe, David Hart, Bianca Costanzo, Nicholas Zambetti and Matthew Brown as the inventors of patent application. For greater detail, see Apple's patent application 20140218372 which was originally filed in Q1 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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