Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,243,996) for a “digital asset search user interface” for its various devices. The goal is to help you special data among the ever-growing items most of us have stored on our hard drives or in the cloud.
About the patent
Modern computing devices provide the opportunity to store thousands of digital assets (e.g., digital photos, digital video, etc.) in an electronic device. Users often show their digital assets to others by presenting the images on the display screen of the computing device.
However, Apple notes that finding a particular digital asset or a group of related digital assets can take time and result in a poor user experience. Sorting thousands, or tens of thousands, of digital assets manually into digital albums or folders can be time consuming and may make it difficult to link a single digital asset with multiple collections.
Managing a digital asset collection can be a resource-intensive exercise for users. A user may have to sort through many irrelevant digital assets prior to finding one of interest.
Scrolling through hundreds or thousands of pictures is burdensome and results in a poor user experience. Apple wants to change this with an advanced digital asset search user interface. Think of it as Siri on steroids.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with the technical details: “Embodiments of the present disclosure present devices, methods, and computer readable medium for presenting a user interface that allows a user to quickly and easily filter and search a digital asset collection. The disclosed techniques allow for rapid recall of desired digital assets, linking assets into logical collections, and an overall improved user experience.
“The zero keyword/contextual keyword feature presents multimedia content icons and searchable keywords to allow a user to search the digital asset collection simply by tapping on one of these keywords. The top auto completion feature auto-completes suggestions in the search field based on various heuristics to ensure the method produces diverse and relevant results. The next keyword suggestion feature predicts a next search term based on learned properties about the digital asset collection.”