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Hey, Siri, whisper into my ear; Apple patent involves whispered speech

Apple wants Siri, its “personal digital assistant,” to be able to whisper a response.The company has been granted a patent (number 10,192,552) for a “digital assistant providing a whispered speech.”

Systems and processes for detecting and/or providing a whispered speech response are provided. In one example process, speech is received from a user, and based on the speech input, determined that a whispered speech response is to be provided. Upon determining that a whispered speech response is to be provided, the whispered speech response is generated and provided to the user.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that a speech recognition device may be used under different circumstances or in different environments. For example, a user may ask the device a question while working at a cubicle with other co-workers surrounding the user. 



A user may also ask the device a question while attending a meeting in a conference room with other meeting participants. A user may also speak to the device while studying in a library where speaking loudly may be prohibited. 

Under some circumstances, the user may whisper speech to the device and/or desire that responses be whispered. Apple says that this means it’s important that a device recognizes the user’s whispered speech, which may vary from normal speech, and provide a whispered speech response under these circumstances. 

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.