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Apple patents 'smart dock' that auto-activates for voice recognition

A new patent by Apple suggests that Siri may be headed for the home. The filing, titled "Smart dock for activating a voice recognition mode of a portable electronic device," details an advanced base station that would host a device like the iPhone or iPad, and could automatically activate the voice-recognition features of said device without any physical interaction.

The patent describes existing electronic voice-recognition capabilities as requiring "an initial activation step requiring the user to interact with the finger controls and/or GUI of their device before voice commands can be processed." The invention in the patent would accomplish this in a different manner, such as constantly listening for a specific word or phrase. The dock itself could feature physical controls or a touchscreen, but it would remain rather "dumb" until being coupled with a phone or other gadget.

Translating the patent-speak into normal English, the dock could activate Siri, which would then provide information, send a text message or add an item to your calendar while you remain on the couch. The dock itself also includes speakers of its own, so music playback would likely be a big deal as well.

As always, these patents may never yield any actual retail product, so don't go adding the Apple iDock to your wish list any time soon.

[via AppleInsider]