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Apple wants to take some of the hassle out of the time-consuming chore that is organizing our photographs. A patent published today details a system for automatically tagging images using a “voice-based digital assistant” — and that’s Siri, to the rest of us.
The patent was originally filed back in June 2012 and details a system that would make use of natural-language processing and a bit of voice input from you. Describe the photograph — “This is me at the beach” — and your device would assign tags linked to the location and who’s in the picture. Any photographs that are in the same location during the same time period with similar content would receive tags as well, reports AppleInsider.
Say “Show me photos of me at the beach last month” and you’ll get just that: images with those particular tags, for that particular time period, grouped logically. The natural-language processing at play here would be capable of differentiating between pronouns and the like to keep things as hassle-free as possible: You could use your name or “me” interchangeably or “us” to identify multiple people in a photo, and it would still reliably tag photos.
That patent offers no indication of when we might see any such tech on iPhones, but relentless shutterbugs (myself included) could likely use a hand. The revamped Camera and Photos app that debuted with iOS 7 already began grouping photos by time and location, and appending a tagging system that was easy to use would be a phenomenal step toward taking some of the drudgery out of keeping our photo collections tidy.
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