Future Apple devices such as Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV set-top boxes could respond to an individual user’s voice, facilitating multi-user configurations, according to a newly granted Apple patent (number 10,867,608).
In the patent data, the tech giant notes that the number of electronic devices, and particularly smart devices, in users’ homes continues to increase. These devices are required to perform increasingly complex tasks, including user-specific tasks in multi-user environments.
However, Apple says that some techniques for multi-user configuration using electronic devices “are generally cumbersome and inefficient.” For example, some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes. Existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy.
Apple says it’s idea is for a technique that provides electronic devices with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for multi-user configuration. I could optionally complement or replace other methods for multi-user configuration and “reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface.”
Here’s Apple’s summary of the patent: “Examples of multi-user configuration are disclosed. An example method includes, at an electronic device: receiving a request; and in response to the request: if the voice input does not match a voice profile associated with an account associated with the electronic device: causing output of first information based on the request using a first account associated with the electronic device; if a setting of the electronic device has a first state, causing update of account data of the first account based on the request; and if the setting has a second state, forgoing causing update of the account data; and if the voice input matches a voice profile associated with an account associated with the electronic device: causing output of the first information using the account associated with the matching voice profile; and causing update of account data of the account based on the request.”