Apple has recently filed a patent application that suggests the company is working on enhancing Siri's capabilities to read lips. This new technology aims to improve speech recognition for the voice assistant by utilizing motion detection to analyze user's lip movements, making it possible to trigger Siri without the need for a microphone to be actively listening for commands.

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The tech giant has been working on this for months, and is expected to release the change next year or the year after, if all goes according to plan. As Mark Gurman noted, the change requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work.

The patent application, titled "Keyword Detection Using Motion Sensing," outlines a system where data from motion sensors, like accelerometers and gyroscopes, is used to record a user's mouth, face, head, and neck movements as they speak a command. This data is then compared to reference data for specific words or phrases. Apple's goal is to enhance Siri's accuracy, especially in situations where background noise might interfere with voice recognition.

Apple suggests that this technology could lead to a more efficient power consumption and improved user privacy. Currently, always-on microphones consume power and processing capacity even when not actively in use. The proposed motion sensing approach would allow the device to activate microphones only when the user utters a recognized command, thus conserving energy and potentially enhancing security.

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Although Apple has not yet announced any concrete plans for its chatbot’s release to consumers, internal use cases have been identified. Apple’s employees are currently using the chatbot for tasks such as prototyping future features, text summarization, etc.

It's important to note that the patent's filing does not guarantee that this feature will be implemented in upcoming Apple devices, as patents often reflect ongoing research and development efforts.