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Apple exploring advanced handsfree iPhone voice control, audio feedback

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Apple has shown continued interest in creating robust handsfree software for its mobile devices like the iPhone, and new filings detail how the company could make such a system more responsive and efficient than current options.

The details come from a handful of patent applications revealed this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Discovered on Thursday by AppleInsider, they offer a glimpse of how Apple's rumored voice control system -- which may be a secret, unannounced feature coming to iOS 5 later this year -- could work.

The first application, entitled Adaptive Audio Feedback System and Method, notes that current audio feedback systems are inefficient, particularly when dealing with items that may contain a large amount of information. Presenting so much to a user audibly can be overwhelming and result in a negative experience.

In addition, relying on audio prompts for a user interface can result in certain information not being appropriately conveyed. For example, audio feedback may not adequately distinguish between prompts that are of high importance, versus those that are not as important.

Apple's solution looks to cut down on the verbosity, or "wordiness," of audio feedback systems, making them more efficient and less frustrating for the user. In one method, the system would recognize if a list of data -- such as a selection of songs being presented to the user audibly -- contained repetitive information, such as the artist or album name.

Such a system would intelligently recognize that a user has already been presented with certain information in any context, and would spare them the need to hear it repeated once again. This could apply to menu navigation, alerts and prompts, and more, in a method referred to as "stepping down."

"If a subsequent occurrence of the user interface event occurs in relatively close proximity to a previous occurrence of the user interface event, the audio user interface may devolve the audio feedback (e.g. by reducing verbosity), such as to avoid overwhelming a user with repetitive and highly verbose information," the application reads.

In one specific example provided, the audio prompt "Genius is not available" is replaced by a shorter, more efficient "No Genius." This could be made even more efficient in the form of an audible cue, such as a negative sounding tone or beep.

Such a system could also work in reverse, too. An iPhone could "step up" the verbosity of an item based on user preferences, such as to convey more important information or alerts to users.

This dynamic system would spare users the need to repeatedly hear the same audio prompts, particularly if they are accomplishing a task with their iPhone that they are already familiar with. Shorter prompts are not only less bothersome to the user, but could also make handsfree navigation faster.
post #2 of 13
Don't get me wrong siri was sweet a year ago. Now its too slow and goofy.
I was happy when apple acquired siri.
Lets hope the wait is worth it.
p.s i used a HTC phone yesterday and the haptic feedback was extremely impressive.
Get on it apple! lol
post #3 of 13
It seems Apple has to add new features to sell every generation of iPhone.
post #4 of 13
I too am experimenting with hands-free control.

With hands tied behind my back, I now call my iPhone 4 to come hither ...














Ok, still working out the kinks. But the app is free - 50% to "hands free".
post #5 of 13
My prediction is that ultimately the iPhone Market will erode more quickly than the iPad..
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

My prediction is that ultimately the iPhone Market will erode more quickly than the iPad..

Has the iPad market eroded?
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

My prediction is that ultimately the iPhone Market will erode more quickly than the iPad..

Sorry, to hear that the market you bought your iPad has been eroded. Maybe next time you buy an iDevice, you try out one of the Apple Stores.
post #8 of 13
Apple really should just integrate Google's Voice Search, unless that's something Google is keeping on Android only. I can't imagine a more intuitive implementation of voice commands. Voice Search doesn't allow voice commands for the system in general (for example you can't tell it to open Springpad), so maybe Apple could tack on a proprietary system for that functionality. In any case, deep voice command integration can't come soon enough.
post #9 of 13
I sure hope there is more to these patent applications than what was described in this article. If not, then the submission of such trivial optimizations for patent protection is hitting a new low. The first ("Adaptive Audio Feedback System and Method") seems particularly ridiculous, it's a potentially nice change to Apple's existing voice services but it is hardly something that I would call a true invention (i.e. not obvious to one skilled in the art).
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronTed View Post

It seems Apple has to add new features to sell every generation of iPhone.

Unlike everyone else who sell the same hardware and software year in year out. Those Apple customers sure are demanding.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Unlike everyone else who sell the same hardware and software year in year out. Those Apple customers sure are demanding.

If Apple consistently add new features and everyone else sells the same stuff year after year, the iPhones must be leaps and bounds ahead in every way? They must be the first phone to have duo-core? Oh wait, NOT! They must be the first to have 4G ... NOT! They must be the only ones to have GPS, accelerometers ... NOT!

IPhones are great phones and they do have some standout features - e.g. Retina Display, AirPlay, etc. But let's not, as my kids say, "over-exaggerate". Every vendor adds something new with every generation. There is no need to undersell the competition if your favorite team is doing just fine on its own.

Like PCs, everyone will run out of bells and whistles (HW and SW) at some point and it will come down to quality, content, marketing and ecosystem. Advantage Apple (and no "over-exaggeration" needed).
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

If Apple consistently add new features and everyone else sells the same stuff year after year, the iPhones must be leaps and bounds ahead in every way? They must be the first phone to have duo-core? Oh wait, NOT! They must be the first to have 4G ... NOT! They must be the only ones to have GPS, accelerometers ... NOT!

IPhones are great phones and they do have some standout features - e.g. Retina Display, AirPlay, etc. But let's not, as my kids say, "over-exaggerate". Every vendor adds something new with every generation. There is no need to undersell the competition if your favorite team is doing just fine on its own.

Like PCs, everyone will run out of bells and whistles (HW and SW) at some point and it will come down to quality, content, marketing and ecosystem. Advantage Apple (and no "over-exaggeration" needed).

Good lord. Kindly read the comment I was responding to and think for a second.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronTed View Post

It seems Apple has to add new features to sell every generation of iPhone.

: Yeah. they cannot brush off innovation from each iPhone launch.
: Spoiled!
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