Apple patent application describes bringing Siri to the Mac via iPhone pairing

“Apple has shown interest in bringing Siri functionality to other devices, like Macs, by pairing them with an iPhone to share its voice control abilities,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The concept was revealed in a Siri-centric patent application made public this week, entitled ‘Voice Control System.’ It describes the current Siri system found on the iPhone 4S, but adds the new element of pairing with a second electronic device to grant it voice control,” Hughes reports. “The filing notes that speech recognition software typically requires extensive hardware and software to operate properly. As a result, it’s advantageous to have the bulk of the processing done via a remote server, just how Siri currently operates with the iPhone 4S.”

Hughes reports, “But Apple’s latest patent application also describes ‘a remote device communicatively coupled to the electronic device’ that runs Siri. By pairing the iPhone 4S to a second device, like a Mac running OS X, users could extend Siri functionality to that device. Listed as potential devices to be included in the pairing are laptop and desktop computers.”

More info, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]


  1. I honestly don’t get Siri on a Mac or iPad, because on a phone you’re more likely to be in a rush, so Siri can help with that, but you are not gonna be in a rush when you’re on a laptop/desktop or a tablet.

    1. Yeah, but the rumor mongering TechTards are all loonified over how Siri would work with the theoretically ‘iTV’ Apple TV. They’re having aneurisms over the possibility of having to use Siri by shouting across the room at their iTV.

      The fact is that the iPhone 4S has noise cancelation hardware built-in. This is required in order for Siri to work properly. In this patent, the 4S is being used as a noise cancelation microphone, solving the problem. I could see this setup working for the iTV. I could also see Apple creating a noise cancelation microphone in their iTV remote to provide the same results.

    2. it;s not about being in a rush- it’s about doing something that would normally take many steps to accomplish and do it in seconds with a voice command. it’s about efficiency.

  2. I believe most people just can not see the bigger picture on Siri. Yes, very suitable in its beta stages for basic phone assistance. And all the competition has matched this already. Pairing your iPhone to use as voice dictation can be done already with other software. These are little catchup stages.

    Imagine muti-tasking with Siri. Dictating a memo or email while doing photoshop. Or imagine assigning instructions to Siri to search for images on the web while you are busy focused on doing layout. In the instruction to Siri you have it scripting the downloads of what is found and arranged in a folder titled as you wanted.

    Siri on Mac could be so much more then simple dictation.
    Correct that stage is already available with other applications. And voice command is also already possible.
    It could be far more then controls and dictation but scripting and instructing in plain language to become a far more powerful multitasking assistant for the Mac.

    Then imagine Apple embracing the power of Siri in OSX as a core function – far more then pairing to machines to the Siri the Cloud service – but to plant most of Siri on the Mac to specifically assist your devices.. not the other way around. The Cloud portion is only accessing the artificial intelligence and learning from your Mac.

    I figure Apple knows what it wishes to do.
    And I believe when they do – no company was on the same path as Apple.

    Just like the iTV… Samsung has a voice controlled TV… and perhaps will come to market before Apple. But they just don’t see the bigger picture and need for this or how Apple will implement it. And nor do I.

    1. If Apple slowly develops its way; these small almost goofy apps like iMessaging and FaceTime might very well lead to tethering more power from your Desktop and far reducing your DATA plans to zero.

      Apple maybe never need to buy a cellular network but change the entire game into “clienting your phone” to your home base internet ip. One home internet connection – one bill. Numerous WiMax connections through LTE possibly. Technically I can not explain this or dream up a sample or hint of this happening but imagine your iPhone more of a dumb client and you can do all the things as before yet without AT&T or a cellular network.

      just a dreamer – lol.

  3. “It describes the current Siri system found on the iPhone 4S, but adds the new element of pairing with a second electronic device to grant it voice control”

    Siri is not a SYSTEM. It is an APP.

    An app that connects to the Cloud AI service for voice assistance. Presently used for locations, questions and more. Siri is more than voice control and more than voice to text dictation. Siri learns. One day, imagine Siri being instructed to create apple scripting and multitask your daily operations.
    Good reason for Siri on the Mac. One the size and data stored locally (makes sense on the Mac – drive space and pure power of the desktop) to allow for customization and different languages and also for perhaps live automated translations and the preference of audio spoken back to you; could be far more beneficial if handled locally on your Mac desktop and then broadcasted to your Phone.

    Let just hope.

  4. Siri is ultimately about its AI, not about its UI. Currently, “voice control” is the primary method of interaction with Siri because the current version of Siri is on iPhone, a device that is optimized for voice-based interaction.

    But it is shortsighted to not look beyond the current version of Siri, and how it works. In the future, Apple will probably release versions of Siri’s AI that are optimized for interaction through other Apple computing devices. And it won’t be like Siri on iPhone, any more than Apple releasing the version of iMovie for iPhone for use on Mac or iPad.

  5. Why don’t they just port the software to Mac and be done with it?

    Then it can be always on in the background, a laptop/desktop is almost always connected to the Internet, and instead of pushing a button, you can just straight up talk to it immediately.

    I.e. Im writing a post on my blog, and I need to reference a line i just wrote but I havent finished my paragraph.

    “Siri, do a google search for X”.

    Siri does the search, once ive finished my train of thought, I move over to safari and the search is done for me.

    The way Apple is thinking through this patent application is a Microsoft approach. Clunky and unnecessary. Lets hope its just a patent application and they never actually implement it.

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