Apple is likely to bring in iOS-like Siri voice-based assistant for Mac OS X as indicated in a patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.
The 92-page patent application was filed in February mentions “Intelligent digital assistant in a desktop environment” and explains how OS X users will use the desktops to perform various tasks using voice commands. The voice assistant for Mac OS X will not be an exact replica as found on iOS, but an improved version that will be capable of multi-tasking and taking in complex commands.
According to the filing, the desktop virtual assistant can be activated using voice input, queries, touch gestures and track pad input. The assistant can be invoked from any place in the OS and will be recognize the voice dictation to determine whether the user wants to search or wants a specific task to be done. Multitasking is done using the assistant as a “third-hand” where the user involved in work to perform various tasks using voice inputs.
Siri will include the interactive context that recognizes the hovering of mouse over a file that requires to be printed or copied. The feature will also be used for organizing files, and managing emails. The digital assistant for Mac OS X will be similar to iOS Siri with added features. However the main issue is whether Siri can be trusted and listens to certain commands of the user. Though Siri has not been mentioned on OS X Yosemite preview, the feature is expected to end up on Mac OS X eventually.
The abstract of the patent filing reads:
Methods and systems related to interfaces for interacting with a digital assistant in a desktop environment are disclosed. In some embodiments, a digital assistant is invoked on a user device by a gesture following a predetermined motion pattern on a touch-sensitive surface of the user device. In some embodiments, a user device selectively invokes a dictation mode or a command mode to process a speech input depending on whether an input focus of the user device is within a text input area displayed on the user device. In some embodiments, a digital assistant performs various operations in response to one or more objects being dragged and dropped onto an iconic representation of the digital assistant displayed on a graphical user interface. In some embodiments, a digital assistant is invoked to cooperate with the user to complete a task that the user has already started on a user device.
It could use the cursor position to inform how it handles any commands it’s given by a user – so it’ll apply a copy command to a photo the mouse is hovering over, for instance. It could also sort and organize files and folders in Finder, drag and drop files from one app to another, and so on.
We hope this feature for Mac OS X desktop environment will not see the fate of touchscreen support of Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS. May be, Microsoft could also bring its Cortana voice-assistant to its desktop operating system as well. Stay tuned for more update on this story.