Los Angeles – A recent patent application filed by Apple has people gearing up more than ever for the iPhone 6. Entitled “Voice-Based Image Tagging and Searching,” the application seeks protection over technology that would let users tag and organize photos by speaking. While iPhones have been able to sort photos by the time and location they were taken since the launch of iOS 7 in the fall of 2013, this patent takes it a step further.
The filing details how Apple users can tag photos using whatever “natural language” they want, including by naming the place, person or occasion featured. The phone will then organize the photos based on the tags and store them in a database that is searchable by Siri. Thus, users can easily save and recall photos in their growing photo libraries all by voice command.
The patent adds to a series of what are widely believed to be filings dedicated to technology for the next generation of iPhones. In the past year, Apple has filed patents that reveal plans to implement a heart rate monitor into its devices and to expand the screen size. The company has also fueled rumors of its plans to use flexible glass in its new displays and possibly add more biometric security features.
Given the ever-increasing competition between Apple and its chief rival, Samsung, Apple has also made recent attempts to file patents to differentiate the two brands’ devices. Chief among this is one that looks to improve the hovering recognition technology already implemented in Samsung’s Galaxy S4. While Samsung beat Apple to the punch in equipping its devices with the ability to allow users to hover their fingers over the screen to display additional information or to preview a link on a website, Apple’s recent patent builds on this technology and streamlines the process of hover recognition. In comparing Apple’s hover gesture patent with the hover technology already featured in some Samsung devices, commentators have noted that the Apple filing seems to shore up several problems that the Samsung products have had in differentiating the hover gesture from a traditional touch.
Though the next iPhone, already being called the iPhone 6, has no official release date, it is almost certain to make its debut in 2014. With regard to what the official name of the new device will be, many have suggested that Apple might divert from its numerical naming system as it did with the recent iPad Air (chosen in lieu of iPad 5). No matter what it ends up being called, with the flurry of patents packing it with new and exciting technology, the next iPhone is certain to impress.