Apple has been awarded a new patent by the USPTO for a Siri-focussed smart dock that could include a wireless charging pad.
Given the recent introduction of the HomePod, some of us may still be holding out for a future where Apple elects to directly compete with the likes of Google Assistant and Amazon Echo – and while Apple’s plans for Siri may seem promising, we may have to wait slightly longer for the dream to become reality.
In good news, however, it would seem that Apple is actively considering the development of a new, Siri-focussed speaker that would serve as an iPhone dock.
According to the patent, the premise described is for a “Smart dock for activating a voice recognition mode of a portable electronic device” – seemingly giving indication that the system would serve to leverage an iPhone’s internet connection and use its own microphone and stereo speakers to deliver Siri’s replies.
What’s perhaps more interesting is that the patent includes mention of multiple iPhone charging methods; while the standard lightning jack is catered for, one such application includes the presence of a wireless charging pad, which is telling considering that none of Apple’s handsets have included wireless charging capacity up until now.
The feature could serve to introduce a new charging method for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 or iPhone Edition handset, which could be another enticing proposition for consumers.
The patent gives an interesting glimpse into the future of Siri; though Apple has yet to commit to a full, AI-powered smart speaker, the company does seem content to flirt with speakers that leverage the digital assistant as a value proposition.
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