A newly awarded Apple patent describes a technology that would allow the Siri voice-based virtual assistant that’s currently available on various iOS devices to help with photo cataloging and image searching in the future, MacRumors reports. The patent, called “Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching” and awarded to Apple on December 26 after being filed earlier in March, identifies photo management as a time-consuming chore on mobile devices.It proposes “a simple, intuitive, user-friendly way to tag photographs” that includes “voice-based photo-tagging, automatic photo-tagging, and voice-based photo searching implemented at an electronic device.”
By combining “speech recognition techniques with intelligent natural-language processing” technology, the future Siri assistant may be able to let users tag themselves and others in images by saying a phrase as simple as “this is me at the beach.” The software would be able to recognize the person referenced as “me” and use his or her name as a more appropriate tag, which could be then automatically applied to other pictures as well.
Then when the user would then ask Siri to “show […] photos of me at the beach,” the app would be able to show relevant photos. Siri would be able to identify and tag multiple users in more complex phrases such as “this is me and my wife at the beach” or “this is us at the beach.”
In addition to faces, the app would also be able to recognize buildings and landscapes.