At some point Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant, may whisper to you if you wish. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170358301).
Systems and processes for detecting and/or providing a whispered speech response are provided. In one example, 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 whispered response would be useful, for example, when a user is working at a cubicle with other co-workers surrounding him/her. Or a user may also ask their iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch a question while attending a meeting in a conference room with other meeting participants.
Or a user may also speak to a device while studying in a library where speaking loudly may be prohibited. Under such circumstances, Apple says 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.