Although Siri may not come to OS X Yosemite, the digital assistant could be coming to the Mac fairly soon. The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent by Apple that describes their implementation of Siri for the desktop environment. If this patent were applied directly to OS X, Siri would take on and replace the current voice dictation capabilities of the operating system as well.
Some images in the patent show Siri residing in the dock when ready for use. Siri can also be cued by a keyboard shortcut, trackpad gesture, or even a phrase like “Hey, Siri.”
Siri’s capabilities seem to be enhanced given the user interface of Macs. Apple’s patent says that Siri can obtain the context of commands by mouse placement, or the keyboard. For example, a user could select some files and tell Siri to sort them by name, or put them in a folder. If something needs to be done to multiple files, a user can drag them into the Siri icon to perform a command on all of them at once. Some examples are given, like sending multiple attachments in an email.
The patent describes particular value in multitasking, where a user could be typing a document, and have Siri look something up in the background. To me, this truly embodies a virtual assistant. I immediately pictured someone working in an office, asking an assistant to find a folder for their project.
This patent further demonstrates Apple’s strategy of refining and connecting experiences for different classes of devices. Apple could have easily ported Siri to OS X after the iPhone 4s, but they are choosing to make Siri particularly useful for the desktop environment. Do you think that Siri could be useful on a Mac? Share your thoughts in the comments.