You might one day be able to whisper to Siri and have the assistant whisper back. Apple is considering that possibility, as described in a patent application first spotted by Gizmodo. That’s great news for anyone who likes to pretend they’re on the phone but are really just talking to Siri. Oh wait, that’s probably just me.
Apple filed for the patent in 2016, but it was only made public today. It specifies “a digital assistant that is capable of detecting a whispered speech input and providing a whispered speech response.” The patent application says Siri may normally “respond in a regular or loud voice, which may be undesired under certain circumstances where a whispered response is more appropriate.” Apple then gives a few examples of when this would be useful, including at the library or in an office cubicle or just to protect privacy.
A Siri-enabled device like an iPhone or Apple Watch would measure an audio input’s amplitude and frequency patterns to determine if a user is whispering, according to the filing.
Although companies like Apple and Samsung often file for patents that never actually become a product, this whispering feature would be useful for the times when you forget to lower the volume of your iPhone and it blasts Siri’s voice across the room.