Back in May 2012 Apple submitted a U.S. patent application for a “smart dock” that responds to audio prompts and relays commands to a phone or tablet. Earlier this month, that patent application titled “Smart Dock for Activating a Voice Recognition Mode of a Portable Electronic Device” was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The application describes a proposed iOS dock that includes features like a microphone, speaker, screen, a touch panel, and even access to Siri the virtual assistant. The dock will work with any phone or tablet connected to it. It will listen for a specific prompt which activates the voice activation feature of the docked device. The prompt can be anything that the user sets, like a spoken word, a snapping finger or a clap.
Once the voice recognition mode on the device has been activated, users can access the applications and features of the connected portable electronic device.
Users will have to assign the audio prompts to activate the device. Users can use the dock to deactivate Siri via an audio command or it can be set to deactivate Siri and put the docked device to sleep after a pre-determined period of time.
According to the document, the dock will work for any “portable electronic device” which can include any electronic device with a voice recognition mode. Devices can include a laptop computer, a tablet, a key fob, a car key, a portable gaming device, and more.
The smart dock can also be fitted with additional items like a removable hard drive, a GPS module, environmental sensors, and more.
The patent application lists Scott Krueger, Jesse Dorogusker and Erik Wang as the inventors.
Source: Apple Insider
Images: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office