Will Siri Help You Purchase Items Online Someday?

Will Siri Help You Purchase Items Online Someday?

We know Siri can help you find information on items available from Best Buy, but someday she may even be able to purchase the items online for you!

Neil Hughes, writing for AppleInsider:

Apple’s interest in expanding Siri to help with online shopping was revealed this week in a new patent application discovered by AppleInsider. The proposed invention, entitled “Intelligent Automated Assistant,” is a detailed look not only at what Siri can already do, but what it might be able to do in the future.

In its current form on the iPhone 4S, Siri does not allow users to complete transactions with online stores. The voice-driven personal assistant software will respond with “Sorry, I can’t purchase that.”

But Apple’s latest patent filing specifically highlights e-commerce as a key function of its “Intelligent Automated Assistant.” The application notes that Siri could be used for “online purchases of items such as books, DVDs, music and the like.”

If e-commerce capabilities are added to Siri, a user could ask to purchase a new song or movie through the iTunes Store. Similarly, iBookstore, or App Store purchases could be accomplished.

Apple’s filing also mentions physical items such as DVDs, which suggests Siri could be used to make a purchase through online retailers.

Users already have the ability to check on items at Best Buy through Siri, via a new capability in the Wolfram Alpha engine Siri uses. Currently that ability does not allow purchasing items.

The patent application specifically names Amazon as a potential partner. The example has Siri telling a user: “I can help you find music, movies, books, electronics, toys, and more — and buy it from Amazon. What are you looking for?”

The proposed invention, made public this week, was first filed in January of 2011. Credited inventors include original employees of Siri, the company Apple acquired, including Dag Kittlaus, the Siri co-founder who left Apple last year after the launch of the iPhone 4S.

The remaining credited inventors are Thomas Robert Gruber, Adam John Cheyer, Didier Rene Guzzoni, Christopher Dean Brigham, Richard Donald Giuli, Marcello Bastea-forte, and Harry Joseph Saddler.

“Siri, order the Blu-Ray version of ‘Grand Prix’.”

“But Sir, you already own the VHS, Beta, Laserdisc, DVD and HD-DVD versions of that movie! Are you sure you want to purchase the Blu-Ray?”

OK, this might not be the best idea…