It’s been a busy day for Apple and patents, with the company setting its sights on an even smart cover for the iPad Pro, and facing yet another patent infringement lawsuit from a court in Las Vegas.
And now, as surfaced by AppleInsider, another patent application has been discovered that outlines a future where Apple’s digital personal assistant, Siri, has even more control over what happens on our TVs. As the report outlines, the new patent would help users find, watch, and even record live television content, which could be a big boost to the company’s oft-rumored streaming TV service — if it ever launches.
The patent app is entitled, “intelligent automated assistant for TV user interactions,” and it details how Siri could be used to help users interact with an over-the-top television service. There are many examples listed, including using Siri to search program listings, using a voice-command to summon previously recorded content, and even record content when watching live TV.
The patent app also details how Apple could improve Siri with the digital personal assistant understanding intent. Meaning, a future version of Siri would better understand the questions asked or the prompts given by the user. Apple has been working in that direction, which we can see some of that hard work in tvOS, where Siri is able to parse details when a user asks for details regarding a TV show or movie that’s being played on the Apple TV.
One of the biggest features for this future with Siri and TV is where Siri can actually understand playing content on different devices. Specifically, if a household has two Apple TV units connected to different TV sets in different rooms, the user could ask to play a specific movie on the Apple TV in the living room or bedroom, and then pick content for the other set-top box separately.
“The new patent shows some more grand ambitions, as well. In one particularly interesting example, Apple imagines a series of networked devices connected to disparate displays — multiple Apple TV units in different rooms, each with their own television monitor — interacting with each other.
In this case, a user might tell their living room Apple TV to “play Silicon Valley in the bedroom,” and the HBO series would begin playing on the specified television, rather than the one which heard the command.”
As is par for the course, it’s just one of many patent applications from the Cupertino-based company, and there’s no telling when, or if, we might see these features in the real world.