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Apple may use sound to identify people or objects, and where they are

Added 01-21-21 09:11:02am EST - “New research shows Apple is investigating how HomePod, or other devices, can use audio to estimate the distance to a speaking user, and also to identify the sounds around it.” - Appleinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Appleinsider.com: “Apple may use sound to identify people or objects, and where they are | AppleInsider”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

New research shows Apple is investigating how HomePod, or other devices, can use audio to estimate the distance to a speaking user, and also to identify the sounds around it.

Apple's HomePod is already very good at hearing your voice, even when it is playing music loudly. Two separate new patent applications show that Apple wants to improve this, and to take the ability for devices to listen, to a new level.

One of them, "Learning-Based Distance Estimation," is concerned with using audio not just to recognize a user, but to figure out where they are.

"It is often desirable for the device to estimate the distance from the device to the user using [its] compact microphone array," says the patent application. "For example, the device may adjust the playback volume or the response from a smart assistance device based on the estimated distance of the user from the device."

"[So] if the user is very close to the device, music or speech will not be played at a high volume," it continues. "Alternatively, if the user is far away, media playback or the response from a smart assistant device may be adjusted to a louder volume."

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