Apple Files Patent Application For ‘Siri for Mac’
Apple has filed a 92-page patent application for an “Intelligent Digital Assistant in a Desktop Environment” which describes features of an artificially intelligent virtual assistant for desktop computers. The patent lists Julian K., Jeffrey Traer, Avi E., May-Li, David J., Bianca C., Nicholas, and Matthew I. as the inventors of this digital assistant.
The proposed digital assistant’s capabilities surpass the Mac’s current voice dictation feature, and it is more like Siri. So it is being considered as “Siri for Mac”. It performs actions like answering user queries, setting schedules and completing tasks just like Siri. The most interesting feature of this digital assistant is “determining the user intent.”
It can determine the user intent by learning the cursor or keyboard inputs. Doing so helps the assistant in answering queries more accurately. For example, if you are looking at a list of restaurants right now, it can learn that you are most likely to ask for location of one of the restaurants in the list.
To better learn the user intent, it provides them a way to give context to their commands. They can use “focus selector” or a mouse to hold a batch of selected files and give voice command like “Upload to iCloud” to upload the selected files to iCloud. This so-called focus selector performs the same task as the finger in iOS.
The icon of the digital assistant can stay in the dock, notifying the user that it is ready to provide service. Hence, it can be called at any time while doing any task in the operating system. User can say phrases like “Hey Siri” to activate it and then give commands through speech and/or using inputs from mouse or keyboard.
The icon can also be used to perform some tasks. For example, the user can select multiple photos and drag and drop them on the icon saying, “Sort by date.” The icon can also list some options in text or voice form through which the user can select the desired operation.
Another interesting feature is “Using Digital Assistant as a Third Hand.” According to Apple, current user interfaces limit the number of tasks being performed by the user to one. They restrict multitasking at user level. Although the computer is performing several tasks in the background, user can only interact with only one or carry out one operation at a time.
This digital assistant addresses this problem. It provides a way to the user for carrying out multiple operations at a time. For example, if a user is writing an article and wants to search for something, he/she can tell the digital assistant to perform the search and give them the results, hence saving few clicks needed to go through multiple windows.
This new digital assistant considered “Siri for Mac” can be one of the best applications ever by Apple. If this desktop app could work in collaboration with Siri, its accuracy of answering user queries can be even more enhanced.