Siri Will Be Updated With Translation Service
Apple may be planning to equip the Siri, the virtual assistant service, with a built-in translation capability. A patent recently filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office describes a cloud-based service that captures audio input in a language and issues a translated audio response. Recorded voice commands are uploaded to Apple’s system in the cloud for interpretation. It allows people to talk to each other using different languages and Siri does all the interpretation tasks by offering translated audio responses to each user. The iPhone may automatically adjust which language to use, by gathering GPS information from each handset.
The patent also includes the ability to interpret dialects of a language and Siri can gradually improve the information database based on specific requests. When paired with Bluetooth earpiece, the updated Siri can work like babel fish in the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Currently, Siri still supports a limited number of languages, UK English, Australian English, American English, Japanese, German and French. It was revealed that the most difficult translation is between American English and UK English. Translation to other languages such as German and French is easier as Siri can choose between different sentence compositions and interpretations, which are not possible when translating from one dialect of English to another. Google and Microsoft are working separately on a Star Trek-like universal translator.
Although most users are satisfied with Siri, the service is facing a series of class-action lawsuits. Apple may need to further improve the actual operation and functionality of Siri to better match messages delivered through nationwide marketing campaign.