Apple ‘smart dock’ aims to bring Siri into the home

A newly filed Apple patent application has revealed the company

harbours plans for a docking station designed to enable hands-free use

of its devices via Siri.

More than just your average iPhone

dock, Apple’s ‘smart dock’ patent details a base unit boasting both a

microphone and speaker that serves to wake the device up upon

recognition of a voice command.

Apple users currently have to

press the home button on their iPhone or iPad to activate Siri and this

can prove inconvenient and cumbersome when their device is hooked into a

docking station. Apple’s proposed device seeks to eliminate these

inconveniences by having a dock continually awaiting voice cues;

potentially putting an end to mornings of bleary eyed fumbling for your

iPhone or iPad, when attempting to get the mild mannered Siri to

responds to your commands.

The ‘smart dock’ patent reveals that,

as of yet, Apple remains unsure whether to include a screen, tacticle

controls of a touch panel to allow its users to interact with the dock. While it is believed the device would come equipped with standard features such as

a 24 hour clock and radio, both voice recognition and most of the heavy

lifting would be performed by the user’s iOS device.

Given the

device would constantly be awaiting commands, Apple has proposed

listening thresholds which will enable the dock to intelligently filter

out and ignore irrelevant ambient noise, whilst still allowing for use

via recognised audio cues from the user. And if users start to feel

uneasy about the big brother-esque ears of their iOS device, the dock

will also recognise specifically programmed voice commands that disable

the ‘smart dock’ entirely.

As Apple is currently in talks with

car manurfacturers over Siri’s implementation within customer’s

vehicles, the company stands to gain considerable revenue should its

‘smart dock’ patent get given the go ahead by the US Trademark Office.

Considering that the company first filed the patent in May 2012, with

Jesse Dorogusker and Eric Wang credited as its inventors, it’s evident

that this proposed ‘smart dock’ has been a longstanding aim for the

technology giant. There is currently no word on a potential release for the device.

Read More: iPad mini 2

Via: AppleInsider

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