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Siri could one day respond to your voice — and your voice alone

Why it matters to you

While most voice-enabled software today recognizes what someone is saying instead of who is saying it, a new Apple patent could change all that.

Siri could soon be loyal to you and you alone. That is, the Siri that lives on your iPhone, of course. As per a new patent application discovered by Patently Apple, it would appear that the iEmpire is working on a new security feature that includes facial and voice recognition. In essence, you could set a vocal password featuring an audio footprint, a sort of Voice Biometrics, and only be able to access your phone (or tell Siri what to do) if you’re … you. Or at least, sound like you.

As it stands, your iPhone is capable of recognizing what someone says, but not who is actually saying it. That means that just about anyone could tell Siri what to do, which could be a problem. As we told you back in February, one Twitter user discovered that even a locked iPhone could reveal plenty of personal information when she accessed the iPhone’s AI assistant.

But soon, those concerns could be assuaged. Apple is looking to train Siri to recognize its owner’s voice before obeying (or even responding to) a command. In the patent, Apple outlines how Siri could require user input of at least one word, where one word needs to be set as the lexical trigger, and could further request the user to say one or more preselected words to determine if the “acoustic properties of the voice of the user” are a match.

And if this technology proves successful, it could be applied to much more than just Siri or your iPhone. Given the multiplicity of voice-controlled gadgets today (think smart home hubs like the Amazon Echo or Google Home), voice recognition could be a huge factor in ensuring that you and you alone can tell Alexa to lock your door or turn down your lights.

Of course, it’s still unclear as to when (if at all) this technology will come to market, but it certainly looks like something to look forward to.