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Apple patent suggests Siri could soon search iPhone photos

updated 07:26 pm EST, Thu December 26, 2013

Apple working on letting Siri search voice-tagged photos

Apple may in a future version of iOS give users the ability to search for pictures on iPads and iPhones using Siri, the platform's built-in digital assistant. This according to a patent unearthed by AppleInsider that describes "Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching," a process assorting "natural language" text strings with photographs present on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

In the application, Apple describes a method for users to first tag the images on their iPhones using their voice, instead of the traditional text-based method usually seen at work with services like Facebook. Users could, for instance, tell their device "This is me at the beach," and the corresponding picture would be tagged as such.

According to the application, Apple's system would then go on to tag corresponding photos based on their proximity in time and location. It would also be able to recognize faces, buildings, and landscapes in order to tag similar photos.

Image via AppleInsider
Image via AppleInsider.


With the photos tagged, users would then be able to ask Siri to bring up specific categories of images with voice commands. "Show me pictures of me at the beach," would bring up tagged photos showing the user at the beach.

Apple filed the application with the USPTO in March of this year. It is uncertain whether it will ever make it into a future version of iOS, but the company has in previous releases pushed out photo sorting features along the same vein. Apple's iOS 7, for example, now automatically organizes photos by year, place, and so forth.




by MacNN Staff

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