Apple Secretly Adding Voice Command Technology into Apple TV
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.
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