Apple wants to incorporate Siri — its “personal digital assistant” even more into its Messages app on macOS and iOS devices. The company has filed for a patent (number 20170132019) for an “intelligent automated assistant in a messaging environment.”
In the patent filing, Apple says that it would desirable to implement a digital assistant (Siri) in a messaging environment (Messages). The messaging platform can enable multiple modes of input (e.g., text, audio, images, video, etc.) to be sent and received. A user request can define a request to Siri using a combination of inputs (e.g., image and text).
Apple says this can increase the functionality and capabilities of the digital assistant, providing a richer interactive experience between a user and a digital assistant. What’s more, a digital assistant in a message environment can enable the digital assistant to be a participant in a multi-party conversation where the benefits associated with the digital assistant can be shared among the multiple participants. Finally, the chronological format enables a user to conveniently review previous interactions with the digital assistant and utilize the contextual history associated with the previous interactions to define a wider range of tasks.
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.