Apple has applied for a patent (number 20180196683) for “application integration with a digital assistant,” which shows further ways the company is looking to beef up Siri.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that digital assistants can help a user perform various functions on a device. For example, digital assistants can set alarms, provide weather updates, and perform searches both locally and on the Internet, all while providing a natural-language interface to a user.
However, Apple says that existing digital assistants, can’t ffectively integrate with applications, such as those locally stored on the user device, and in particular, third-party applications. The company says that what’s needed is an even better natural-language interface with such applications.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “ystems and processes for application integration with a digital assistant are provided. In accordance with one example, a method includes receiving an audio input including a natural-language user input and identifying an intent object of a set of intent objects. The intent object may be derived from the natural-language user input.
“The method further includes identifying a software application associated with the intent object of the set of intent objects, providing the intent object to the software application to cause the software application to perform a task associated with the intent object, receiving a result response indicating whether the task was successfully performed, and providing an output indicating whether the task was performed.”
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.