New Patent Suggests Siri Will Be Able To Search Photos On iOS 7 or Future, Soon!

Apple’s latest version of its iOS 7 firmware brought with it a overhaul Photos app that debuted earlier this year, alongside introduced automatic photos sorting by date and location. At the U.S Patent and Trademark Office a couple of days ago, yet another patent application emerged suggesting that the Cupertino company wants to optimize its idea by allowing iOS users to tag photos and search for them by using Siri – voice assistant. Full details about the Siri Photo Search System after this fold!

Entitled “Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching,” describes how it works in its abstract. Finally, Siri may be able to search through and tag user photos in the fourthcoming future.

All according to a new Apple patent application published by United States Patent and Trademark Office. An application describes a system allowing digital images to be tagged with identifiers like the name orf a person, a location, or an activity in a photograph, which can then be searched for voice commands given to a “voice-based digital assistant,” aka Siri.

The electronic device provides a default language text string corresponding to a speech input associated with the digital photograph, that device also performs natural language processing on the text string to identify one or more terms associated with an entity, an activity, or a location. Tags the digital photograph with the one or more terms and their associated entity, activity or location.

How user could! For example, tak a photograph and then speak a description of what is in the photo. Saying a phrase like “technical news updater aka Grabi” would automatically tag a photograph with the appropriate information, which could later be recalled with a simple voice-based search through Siri. Beyond speaking info, additionally Apple specifies tags could be added such as a user name and location.

Although that is basically a long-winded way of saying that you will be able to add tags to your photos with your voice and then ask Siri to search for photos based on their tags. As described in the summary, someone who has a photo of him/her self at the beach may tag the photo with the phrase “this is me at the beach.”

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.

What actually Apple is aiming at? The ever increasing number of digital photographs stored on an electronic devices like iPhone, iPad or iPod have created a need for “systematic cataloging” to facilitate improved organization and simpler image searches. Current approaches to photo tagging, Apple says, 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.

It’s time being, when we’ll see this implementation, but the patent also suggests that Siri will be able to search through that information for photos, tagging in iOS 7, which could become more advanced in the future updates, such as based on tagging similar photos based on face or object recognition and on. Similar photographs will also be tagged appropriately so the user does not have to tag photos individually.

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.

The patent was originally filed back in March 13, 2013, but only became public this past week. But the company first began improving its photo organizational systems with iOS 7, revamping the Photos app with information on when and where photos were taken. Images within the app can be organized into “Moments” using this information, which already have provided a solid brick for the addition of photo searches to Siri in the future. (Via MacRumors)

The inventors are Jan Erik Solem and Thijs Willem Stalenhoef, who published this patent application and as with all of Apple’s patents and patent applications, it is unclear when and if the technology will make it into a final product. There’s no ETA on when it would show up, nor does it suggest it would show up at all. But it gives a glimpse on how photos and Siri could evolve in future versions of iOS.