Siri promo video (Woman asks for weather)

Now that Apple is pushing a number of differing iPhones to a wider range of countries, it might be wise if Siri understood languages spoken outside of North America and Europe. To help fine-tune the regional differences in language, Apple has filed for a patent on integrating geolocation with speech recognition.

The filing, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last Thursday, seeks to use location clues to enhance Siri, as well as speech to text services available with the newly-introduced iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c…

With the sleep-inducing title ‘Automatic input signal recognition using location based language modeling,’ the speech-recognition patent (via AppleInsider) hopes to create a system where a speaker’s location can improve the likelihood of a command or question being understood.

Currently, Apple’s speech recognition can parse local language, but does not too so well when the difference is small, such as between two geographic regions. Instead, the speaker’s specific location is used to better define the speech.


As an example, Apple provides the words “goat hill”.

At the moment, the speech recognition would fail to understand, instead thinking the person meant “good will.” However, adding geolocation would determine there is a nearby Goat Hill store and give that meaning more weight.

The patent was first filed in 2012.

  • iV1n5

    For me the real improvement will come when you won’t even have to switch language… but just speak. Right now we don’t speak only one language at the time… we often use names or words of other languages. I want to say in Italian “riproduci la canzone Yesterday” ( which means “play the song Yesterday”). I want to call a contact with a foreign name. I want to say croissant, and so on… without any workaround.

    • Falk M.

      I guess this is more about dialects or local phrases/words than languages.

  • John

    That’s absolutely incredible! I’m thinking about all of the uses for this technology- think how, eventually and if the technology spreads, it could be used with other apps like mobile marketing Placed and even with lifestyle apps like Life360, which is one of my favorite apps ever. Either way, am excited to see how things work out!