New Apple patent application details ‘Siri for Mac’ virtual assistant

“While Apple’s Siri has been an iOS staple since 2011, the tech has yet to make the jump to OS X,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider. “An exhaustive new patent filing, however, details a very similar desktop version of the virtual assistant that can perform dictation, high-level system commands and even act as a ‘third hand’ for Mac users.”

“Driven in cooperation with an off-site server, Siri for Mac has an identical backend to Siri for iOS,” Campbell reports. “The user-facing Siri asset can be integrated into a standalone app invoked by a special mouse or keyboard gesture, or may be tasked to run in the background, listening for a special activation phrase like the ‘Hey, Siri’ implementation in Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8.”

“A particularly interesting function describes ‘Using Digital Assistant as a Third Hand,'” Campbell reports. “In some cases, a user may be performing one task and find that a second or third action is required to facilitate unbroken focus on the primary operation. For example, while typing in a text editor, a user may want to access a picture or piece of information from the Web. Invoking a digital assistant by voice to perform this secondary task saves mouse clicks and allows continuous focus be paid to the text editing task at hand.”

Siri for Mac

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


    1. What’s up with “Popular Articles and Offers” It builds in a awful way, makes my screen jump around while loading. And frankly has useless junk spam crap. I see this bit on almost every web page now, even major sites.

      You know the one, where randomly they show different “interesting” titles, such as a Toy Story pic, with a photoshopped extra arm and a title of little known secrets at Disney, then tout something stupid, when you click through.

      Basically its an advert click bate to then show you ads. While I am at it, why are movie previews now coming with 20 second averts? Again an ad for an ad…

      It’s overload.

      Now to Apple: Notice the hand? I see “touch screen” interface there, for a desktop Mac. No comment on that?

      I want NAVIGATOR! 🙂

    2. This isn’t the only site that foes that so I’m thinking there is some dodgy code infiltrating our world. I presumed it was something on my iPad but everything on line ( because others are having this e pertinence) tells me that can’t be the case. Just odd that it only happens with my iPad and in safari I find, but not on my Mac. Would love for someone to explain this behaviour.

    1. I remember when voice recognition first hit the Mac years ago. Whenever a firetruck drove by with sirens blazing, my Mac would shut down. I couldn’t convince it that we were already out of the way and didn’t need to “pull over.” 🙂

  1. Siri may have been around since 2011, but it is virtually useless in my experience (pun intended). I have tried using it for numerous information related tasks, and it has always failed.

    For example, sometime ago I was looking for a phone number. I dictated very clearly the name of the restaurant and the city of Richmond Hill in which it was located, but after many attempts found that it was unable to identify the city or provide a phone number. It simply “can’t find any restaurants whose reviews mention [name of restaurant].” I have tried rewording the request and changing the order of information to no avail. YMMV, but that has been my experience.

  2. Siri is great for little things. It worlds perfectly for things like setting appointments, timers and composing texts. It works ok for voice dialing. but it is dumb as a post for anything else. google now is much better at these tasks. And, it sucks too.

  3. At last! At last! I expect Siri to work on any ‘double-microphon’ Mac, allowing for the required noise cancelation for optimum voice control.

    One fun thought is the concept of verbal feedback from Siri competing with user commands while performing tasks. Imagine having to shout over Siri to get it to perform the next in a series of tasks. This is where having a physical keystroke comes in handy for command input. It’s the ‘shut up Siri’ button as well as the command button. 😉

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