In a new entry in its Machine Learning Journal, Apple has detailed how Siri on the HomePod is designed to work in challenging usage scenarios, such as during loud music playback, when the user is far away from the HomePod, or when there are other active sound sources in a room, such as a TV or household appliances.
An overview of the task:
The typical audio environment for HomePod has many challenges — echo, reverberation, and noise. Unlike Siri on iPhone, which operates close to the user’s mouth, Siri on HomePod must work well in a far-field setting. Users want to invoke Siri from many locations, like the couch or the kitchen, without regard to where HomePod sits. [...]
Ahead of Apple’s „Gather Round“ event, rumors suggested the company would introduce updated AirPods with an improved wireless chip and support for hands-free „Hey Siri“ functionality.
There was no mention of updated AirPods on stage when the new Apple Watch and iPhone models were unveiled, but Apple’s event intro featured a video where „Hey Siri“ support for AirPods is clearly demonstrated as a feature.
The „Hey Siri“ moment happens at about 40 seconds into the videoIn the Mission Impossible parody video that kicked off the event, an Apple employee racing across the Apple Park campus to deliver an item to [...]
Apple has confirmed that its new 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models feature support for hands-free „Hey Siri.“
From its website, emphasis ours:
Featured on the 13- and 15‑inch models with Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip includes a Secure Enclave coprocessor that provides the foundation for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities. It also consolidates many discrete controllers, including the system management controller, audio controller, and SSD controller, into one. And the Apple T2 chip brings a familiar voice to MacBook Pro — Hey Siri is always ready to open apps, find documents, play music, or answer your questions.
This means 2018 [...]
Apple’s latest entry in its online Machine Learning Journal focuses on the personalization process that users partake in when activating „Hey Siri“ features on iOS devices. Across all Apple products, „Hey Siri“ invokes the company’s AI assistant, and can be followed up by questions like „How is the weather?“ or „Message Dad I’m on my way.“
„Hey Siri“ was introduced in iOS 8 on the iPhone 6, and at that time it could only be used while the iPhone was charging. Afterwards, the trigger phrase could be used at all times thanks to a low-power and always-on processor that fueled the iPhone and [...]