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Siri Photo Search Functionality Described in Apple Patent

by Todd Haselton | December 26, 2013December 26, 2013 10:00 am PST


Siri is pretty limited right now. You can use the digital assistant to check sports scores, the weather, book appointments and more, but you can’t really use it for super detailed search. Apple clearly wants to make Siri much more powerful, and a new patent describes one way it may go about achieving that goal.

The patent, titled “Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching” describes a way in which users could use Siri to search for photos based on an activity, entity or location. That description suggests that you might be able to say “Show me my photos from Santa Monica” to bring up an album you snapped, or “Bring up my honeymoon pictures.”

In those cases, honeymoon could be the activity and Santa Monica could be the specific location called upon. As AppleInsider notes, this could even apply to specific photos of people through face recognition, or even buildings, though Apple would need to tap into some sort of architectural database, we assume. That’s just a use-case for photo search, however. Apple could probably bring that to videos and more.

The patent was originally filed in March of this year, which suggests that Apple has been thinking about this sort of use-case scenario for a while now. As with all patents, this doesn’t mean we’ll actually see the tech in a real product, though we imagine Apple will try to make photo sorting much easier as it continues to improve on its camera technology.

USPTO AppleInsider

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...