• Apple Files a Patent Which Allows Siri to Search and Sort Through Your iPhone Photos

    Although Siri may be able to search through and tag user photos in the future, a new Apple patent application published recently by the United States Patent and Trademark Office entitled “Voice-based Image Tagging and Searching,” describes a system allowing digital images to be tagged with various identifiers such as the name of a person, a location, or an activity in the photograph which can then be searched for via voice commands. A user for example could potentially take a photograph and then speak a description of what is in the photograph. A phrase like “this is me at the beach” would automatically end up tagging a photo with the appropriate information, which could later be recalled with a voice command. Apple specifies that beyond spoken information, additional tags could be added such as a user name and location.

    The following was mentioned regarding the feature:

    Moreover, because the natural-language processing is capable of inferring additional information, the tags may include additional information that the user did not explicitly say (such as the name of the person to which "me" refers), and which creates a more complete and useful tag.

    Once a photograph is tagged using the disclosed tagging techniques, other photographs that are similar may be automatically tagged with the same or similar information, thus obviating the need to tag every similar photograph individually. And when a user wishes to search among his photographs, he may simply speak a request: "show me photos of me at the beach."
    According to Apple, the increasing number of digital photographs stored on electronic devices such as the iPhone have created a need for “systematic cataloging” to facilitate improved organization and simpler image searches. Current approaches to photo tagging are “non-intuitive, arduous, and time-consuming,” with voice-based photo tagging representing a dramatic increase in both the speed and convenience of photo tagging. Aside from recording information based on spoken text strings, Apple also suggests that its system could automatically tag photographs based on previously captured user images and data, recognizing faces, buildings and landscapes. Based on the stored photographic data, users could then conduct voice searches via Siri, quickly locating all relevant images.

    For those of you who hadn’t already noticed, Apple first began improving its photo organizational systems with the release of iOS 7. The Cupertino California company revamped the Photo app with information on when and where the photos were taken. Images within the app can be organized into “Moments” using this information, all of which already provide a solid basis for the addition of photo searches to Siri in the future.

    For now, we’ll have to wait and see when the technology is introduced in the iOS ecosystem.

    Source: USPTO via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Files a Patent Which Allows Siri to Search and Sort Through Your iPhone Photos started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Tagging a photo was something I had hoped iOS adopted long ago. Like being able to name the pic to find it later. I guess this will be that..we shall see.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Yes, they 'improved' photos in ios 7 by making it very difficult to look at a map of where your photos are.
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