Microsoft Patent Seeks to End Public Embarrassment over Speaking to Digital Voice Assistants

A new Microsoft voice assistant patent filing demonstrates a way to get over the public fear of speaking to digital devices…

Even though voice assistants have become more and more popular, many people still hesitate to use the technology in public places. It’s a problem from the perspective of tech companies, which are investing heavily into the tools.

Microsoft Voice Assistant Patent Filing Introduces ‘Ingressive Airflow’ Technology

But, a recent patent filing from Microsoft seeks to relax individuals so they utilize the technology more. This, after the company learned it’s not about a reluctance to rely on the technology. Rather, it’s a stigma against disturbing others, along with a big reluctance to share private information in public:

“Although performance of voice input has been greatly improved, the voice input is still rarely used in public spaces, such as office or even homes. These are not technical issues but social issues. Hence there is no easy fix even if voice recognition system performance is greatly improved.”

The fix, according to Microsoft, is what’s called “ingressive airflow.” No, it’s not just a whisper. Instead, it’s a method called “silent voice input.” Or, what’s known as “ingressive airflow.” That is, a way of whispering while inhaling instead of slightly exhaling.

Microsoft says its silent voice input could work on a variety of devices, including phones, watches, television remotes, headsets, and more.

Of course, since this is only a patent filing, there’s no guarantee it will make it out to consumer devices. But, it’s also possible the technology will become a familiar one.

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.