Apple has been rumoured to be working on an audio photo tagging feature for its personal assistant app Siri, due to a patent that the company has filed.
The Cupertino company filed the patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office way back in March but information about it has only just come to light. The patent is entitled “Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching” which seems pretty self-explanatory. Basically, Apple wants to allow its users to be able to tag their friends and locations into photos through voice commands. For example, you could say, “Siri, here’s a photo of me and John on holiday”. That information would then be tied to that image.
It would also mean that iOS users would have the potential to search through their saved photos based on keywords, times and dates or albums. So, you’d be able to ask Siri to show all photos of you on holiday, or pictures with you and John.
Why has Apple filed this patent now? It doesn’t seem like it will be technologically a stretch for the company, but it’s not about that. Apple devices now have such great cameras – with the introduction of the iSight snapper on the iPhone 5S – and such a massive storage space that so many users document as much of their lives as possible. This makes it difficult to sort through the thousands of images, and Apple wants to give its users a way to categorize their photos more effectively.
It’s a pretty cool feature, but just because Apple filed the patent doesn’t mean it might ever come to light on an actual device. Hundreds of patents are registered every year that don’t make it into reality, but we definitely hope that this one ends up on a future iPad or iPhone. Obviously Apple’s keeping pretty quiet on the voice-tagging feature, but most likely, it will be included as part of the next iOS updates but will only be available for users on iPad Air, iPhone 5S or later.