Siri’s Future Discussed in Apple Patent Application

Following up on today’s previous patent news, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday also published the first patent application from Apple related to its Siri digital assistant technology that the company has thus far integrated into the iPhone 4S.

Patently Apple got their hands on the application and provided a detailed analysis. In it, they discover that Apple has plans for Siri that go far beyond both its current implementation as well as its potential use in a future Apple television. 

While the application initially describes Siri in a similar manner to what we have now on the iPhone 4S, it goes on to greatly expand potential usages beyond their current reach, including implementing Siri into desktop and laptop computers, web platforms, email, cameras, vehicle entertainment systems, and more.

Siri Patent Application

The application envisions using these ubiquitous avenues to provide personalized recommendations to the user for products, services, activities, and even time management techniques. It also discusses working with third party services directly, so that a user could, for example, ask Siri to book a flight to New York next Tuesday morning and the service would automatically coordinate with travel providers to purchase the ticket.

There is also discussion in the application of Siri’s ability to integrate with and control external devices, such as connecting with a user’s home media center, or controlling the lighting and temperature in the user’s home. 

As a final death knell to traditional user manuals, Siri would also be able to instruct users in the usage and maintenance of their products, as they use them. Perhaps this potential functionality will see the end of the suggestion to “Read the Friendly Manual.” 

For now, Siri is primarily a passive tool; it only activates when you tell it to and its abilities are limited. Thursday’s patent application from Apple, however, indicates that we may soon realize Apple’s 1987 Knowledge Navigator concept.

Apple’s 1987 Knowledge Navigator Video