Apple wants to enhance Siri’s ability to interact with its Apple TV set-top box, as evidenced by a new patent filing (number 20210105528) for an “intelligent automated assistant for TV user interactions.”
In the patent data, the tech giant notes that while smartphones, tablets, and computers have benefitted from virtual assistants such as Siri, other user devices lack such convenient control mechanisms. For example, user interactions with media control devices (e.g., televisions, television set-top boxes, cable boxes, gaming devices, streaming media devices, digital video recorders, etc.) can be complicated and difficult to learn.
Apple says that, what’s more, with the growing sources of media available through such devices (e.g., over-the-air TV, subscription TV service, streaming video services, cable on-demand video services, web-based video services, etc.), it can be cumbersome or even overwhelming for some users to find desired media content to consume.
As a result, many media control devices can provide an inferior user experience that can be frustrating for many users. Apple wants to fix this with Siri on the Apple TV.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “systems and processes are disclosed for controlling television user interactions using a virtual assistant. In an example process, a virtual assistant can interact with a television set-top box to control content shown on a television display. Speech input for the virtual assistant can be received from a device with a microphone.
“The speech input can comprise a query associated with content shown on the television display. A user intent of the query can be determined based on one or more of the content shown on the television display and a viewing history of media content. A result of the query can be caused to be displayed based on the determined user intent.”