New Apple patent shows speech-to-text and text-to-speech

New Apple patent shows speech-to-text and text-to-speech
New patent filings from Apple show some interesting features that may or may not show up in a future iPhone. While the patents involve speech-to-text and text-to-speech, they aren't visibly related to the Siri acquisition from last year or the more recent rumors of a partnership with Nuance. The patents are proposed solutions for two problems: hearing in a noisy area, and communicating when unable to speak. 

The first issue would pertain to someone at a concert or other noisy event who cannot hear the person on the other end of a call. The patent filing shows a speech-to-text solution for this, which would essentially transcribe what the person is saying and show the text on-screen for you to read. This would also be a very effective solution for a deaf person who wants to use an iPhone. The patent shows that the iPhone would prompt the user to turn on this feature based on ambient noise detected through the device microphone.

The second issue would be aimed at someone in a meeting or library who needs to communicate over the phone without using text messaging. The text-to-speech solution shown for this would allow the user to initiate a pre-recorded message for the person calling, or allow the user to input text which would be "read" to the person on the other end of the line. It probably wouldn't be a surprise to hear Alex from the Mac OS speaking the text. 

These two systems are not separate, so of course if a user is in a noisy place, and doesn't think their voice would be heard, there is an option to initiate a chat session on the incoming call

The last patent filing shows a new call hold system for the iPhone which would allow users to place calls on hold and have a recorded message play for the caller. It certainly sounds good, but hearing some on-hold muzak when calling Mom on Sunday may get a bit annoying.

Related phones

iPhone 4
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)



1. andro unregistered

Speech to text and text to speech has been around for years now in several formats and forms even in low level nokia phones for people of hard of hearing. Funny to see apple yet again apply a patent to something already in existence and claim its theirs,bravo! Suing is about to start again

3. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

awesome, just like android... apple must be proud being two years behind.

4. alec unregistered

great cant wait to see how apple calls it an inovative feature

5. therygy

Posts: 94; Member since: May 24, 2010

Bigger screen....?

6. TDroid21

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 04, 2011

What teh fuck? Seriuosly apple? Yuor patent has alraedy been in use for yaers on android speech to text feature. Sheesh!!

7. Ben unregistered

Apple is starting to look more silly by the week and the fanboys even more mindless to be falling for their claims. Apple needs to get themeselves a 5 or 6 year old phone and see how text to speech was around back then.

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