It looks like Apple is planning to catch up with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa by updating its digital assistant Siri. According to a report by AppleInsider, a new patent has revealed that the company may be working on bringing multi-user support to Siri. This feature will allow Siri to provide personalized responses based on the person that is interacting with the digital assistant. The report pointed out that these new features were highlighted in the patent with the title “User profiling for voice input processing” that US Patent and Trademark Office granted to the company.
The patent detailed that Siri can identify the user with the help of “a variety of ways” including biometric information known as “voice print”. Identifying different users will allow Siri to perform tasks that are limited to particular users while limiting personalized information to specific users. The report also pointed out that this would also allow the owner of any given Siri-powered device to limit other Siri users from accessing data including messages or photos and videos stored on that particular device.
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According to the patent, Siri will record words and style of the language to create “a library” including metadata, or preferred apps as a user continues to use the assistant. Siri will also check how the device was used previously to take not of the most used apps or most “frequently used contacts” to create this library.
If the company is actually working on this feature then it should not be difficult as it is a software-based feature and does not require any changes in the hardware of iOS-powered devices. This feature will be especially essential for the success of Apple HomePod if the company has to compete with the likes of Amazon Echo lineup and Google Home devices.
The report does warn that this patent does not really confirm that Apple will include multi-user support in the next major update to Siri. But, it does open the possibility of this feature while giving us a hint at what to expect in terms of implementation. This is not the first time that we have seen “Multi-user support” as it was first spotted in iOS 11.2.5 beta.