Image: The Verge
Despite Apple wanting to stay away from multiple user support on iOS, a new patent shows that Siri can be more personal than ever before.
What if Siri knew who it was talking to? According to a recent patent filed by Apple, they are working on bringing multi-user support to Siri.
The patent, dated August 14, 2018, states that the feature would match your voice to a pre-registered profile or contact on the users’ iPhone after using “Hey, Siri.” According to the patent, “The voice input can be processed using a subset of words from a library used to identify the words or phrases of the voice input.”
In recent years, many iOS users have only dreamed of the ability to have multi-user support on their devices, but, Apple has been opposed to bringing that feature mainstream. Apple has brought multi-user support to their Education-based software, with ‘Shared iPad’ and ‘Apple School Manager,’ but is only available to Educational Institutions.
It is unclear as to how Siri will personalize its experience with individual users, or how it will know who is speaking, but, I figure that it would work similar to how Netflix or Hulu recommends shows based on your viewing history. Essentially, learning from previous inputs, or previous conversations, or perhaps learning who you speak or message frequently. Siri will be able to create a library of past conversations or inputs and through Artificial Intelligence, build a deeper connection with the user, and learn habits.
Whilst that may sound a bit weird, or interfere with privacy, I predict that this will allow for even better device security. For example, with Siri being able to learn your voice, build a library of past inputs, and learning who used the device to take photos, access certain apps, send texts, etc., Siri will only read-off text messages once it has verified the user who sent it, or shows pictures that the user had taken on the device. Effectively locking down the device, acting as a gatekeeper, and making the users’ life private.
I believe that this will be a great feature for those who share their Apple devices with other family members, especially young ones. One thing to remember, not all patents make it into a final product, so this may just be a project for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I would love to see some form of user verification on HomePod as I have had a few close calls.