Patent shows Apple’s pointless plans for Siri stealth mode

Apple has revealed a technically impressive, but quite silly new patent on its Siri virtual assistant. If the patent ever results in a product update, you’ll be able to whisper your question to Siri and have Siri whisper back like you’re a pair of gossiping teens on the back row of English class.

Patent shows Apple’s pointless plans for Siri stealth mode

The problem – such as it isn’t – right now is that if you ask Siri a confidential question, or something vaguely embarrassing, it’ll answer your question at a volume audible to everyone around you. The reason why this is a non-issue is that if you’re using Siri today, you also happen to be holding a device with a keyboard where your questions can be written in absolute confidence, without the risk of a blabbermouth virtual assistant broadcasting your weird interests to the world. True, the upcoming HomePod won’t have a keyboard, but would you really buy a £270 speaker to test its lower volumes?

READ NEXT: Hey Siri, you’re stupid

Apple believes that this technology could come in handy “while studying in a library where speaking loudly may be prohibited,” but what kind of tool talks to their virtual assistant in a library anyway?

Nonetheless, on paper it all seems rather clever – although given Siri’s tendency to mishear at the best of times, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. In any case, the patent suggests Siri would measure vocal amplitude and frequency patterns and if it detects whispering, whisper back.

To be clear, just because something is in a patent, doesn’t mean it’ll ever see the light of day, and there’s every chance Siri will never learn how to stage whisper. That said, Apple did make the pizza box they patented, so never say never.

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