Recent Apple patent could allow Siri to recognize multiple different users
Imagine a situation in which someone is talking to your Apple HomePod and happens to ask Siri about apps, services or searches you have activated recently. Depending on the content of these requests, that could get embarrassing or invasive rather quickly.
This scenario may seem a little far-fetched. However, new reports indicates that Apple is taking it and other similar contingencies very seriously. In essence, the Cupertino company wants Siri to be able to tell different users apart by voice. This may stop the voice assistant giving personal information away to a non-owner while it is running on a particular device.
This story is based on a patent application recently filed by Apple (via an inventor called Allen P. Haughay) with the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO). It contains details of an algorithm-based mechanism by which a device learns to attribute specific vocal patterns to a single user. This is done by having the user read a short script of predetermined words aloud. The same device can then presumably learn to recognize a second user in the same way, and so on.
Therefore, some correspondents have presumed that this patent is intended to enhance Siri's functionality and security. This may give its future versions more traction in a market increasingly dominated by Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. However, the patent could also be intended to simply optimize voice searches through a typical set of words an individual employs when using Siri. On the other hand, the existence of this patent does not necessarily guarantee that the feature described in it will ever make it to the market.