A new patent published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office reveals that Apple is working to make Siri more intuitive to smartly change the pitch of its response depending on the environmental conditions.
Recently, Apple introduced two new Siri voices for English speakers in iOS 14.5 beta 6 update and the freedom to configure the voice of the preference at the setting up their device. It will no longer be male or female by default. The company says that “this is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”
Future Siri will smartly detect the environmental conditions to lower or increase its pitch
As per the filing, Apple states that voice assistant register sounds from an acoustic sense, comprehend the voice command given by the acquired sound and then responds. And tasks communicated via text are turned into speech using an audio app. However, surrounding noises in users’ listening environment “may negatively affect” the user’s comprehension or audio quality of Siri’s response. Thus, Siri’s ability to assess the environmental conditions and raise its voice to yell or lower it to whisper will improve its audio quality.
Based on memory, the devices will be configured to determine the noise level in the surrounding, and smartly choose the appropriate response tone. It is described as:
An appliance can include a microphone transducer, a processor, and a memory storing instructions. The appliance is configured to receive an audio signal at the microphone transducer and to detect an utterance in the audio signal. The appliance is further configured to classify a speech mode based on the utterance. The appliance is further configured to determine conditions of an environment of the appliance. The appliance is further configured to select at least one of a playback volume or a speech output mode from a plurality of speech output modes based on the classification, and the conditions of the environment of the appliance.
The appliance is further configured to adapt the playback volume and/or mode of played-back speech according to the speech output mode. The appliance may be configured to synthesize speech according to the speech output mode, or to modify synthesized speech according to the speech output mode.
If developed, this feature will improve users’ voice assistant experience and put Siri at par with other voice assistants like Alexa which already offers that aforementioned feature. Recently, it was reported that Apple is working to improve Siri’s atypical speech recognition to make it more accessible.