When it comes to digital assistants, it’s obvious that Siri could stand to be improved upon. Now according to researchers from Apple and Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, they have recently published a paper that suggests that one of the ways these improvements could be made is by mapping out the room.
Mapping a room isn’t new and we have seen it done by smart devices like robot vacuum cleaners and also Apple’s HomePod speaker. However, the paper suggests that this could also be done using digital assistants like Siri, where through a series of questions, Siri could get an idea of the sounds that are being emitted around it in order to better understand user requests while also being able to volunteer more accurate and relevant information.
For example, it could pick up on sounds like the microwave and doorbell, and when users confirm the sound, it would then be able to learn what those sounds are. So whenever the microwave is done and it beeps, a potential application could be that Siri could then alert the user that whatever they were microwaving is now complete. Or if the doorbell rings, Siri could then send an alert to the user to let them know that someone is at the door, even if they aren’t home (and assuming there’s a smart device like the HomePod is there to pick up the sound).
While the research mainly mentions Siri and the HomePod, we imagine that this could also be applied to other smart devices and digital assistants from the likes of Google or Amazon.