has snagged a patent from the USPTO
for what amounts to Siri
, evolved. The “method and apparatus for building an intelligent automated assistant” appears to be a situation where your whole home or office is littered with sensors that track where you are and what you’re doing while always being at the ready for voice commands and gestural input.
The patented system would include message-passing between sensors as well as features such as language, activity, and time recognition with task automation, culled in part from events “collected from a user's environment”. In other words, the system (let’s assume Apple will call it “Siri”) will try to anticipate your needs and deliver what you need.
There’s also a web-based component, which makes sense; super-Siri could pull up your calendar, check the weather and headlines for you, stream music and video, and on and on. Ostensibly, that’s also how the system would update itself.
Judging from the patent’s language, there will be an SDK of some sort so that devs can create all manner of applications and other features for the system.
For example, in figure 1 above, the system will remind the user to take his medicine after his meal in part by observing that the user is in the kitchen, the user is eating, and the time is 8am. Figure 2 fleshes that out a bit by starting with the task “Take medicine after breakfast”. Thus, the user asks Siri-on-steroids to remind him to take his medicine after breakfast, and she uses her AI to ascertain when reminder needs to occur.
Apple is envisioning this system as ideal for those with various impairments as well as the elderly, but also for professionals in environments such as hospitals.