Apple patent filing involves a user interface for searching with Siri

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20180189362) for a user interface for searching, which apparently involves the search feature in Siri, the company’s personal digital assistant.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that the use of electronic devices for searching content has increased significantly in recent years. However, the tech giant says some techniques for searching content using such gadgets are generally “cumbersome and inefficient.”

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For example, searching for information frequently requires navigating a complex and time-consuming user interface. For another example, some search techniques don’t include a convenient method for previewing the search results. For another example, some techniques don’t efficiently provide options to search various search engines. In addition, some techniques take longer than necessary, wasting energy. This latter consideration is particularly important in battery-operated devices. 

Apple says there’s a need for methods and interfaces that complement or replace conventional methods for searching. The tech giant wants such methods and interfaces to “reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface.”

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “The present disclosure relates to search techniques. In one example process, the device concurrently displays remote search results and local search results. In another example process, the device provides previews of search results that include actionable user interface objects. In another example process, the device concurrently displays options for initiating a search using various search engines.”

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.