Apple patents speech-to-text, text-to-speech feature for iPhone

By Andrew Coutts – May 13, 2011

A new Apple patent could make it easier for iPhone users to make and receive calls when talking is not an option.

A recently filed Apple patent application suggests that the company plans to bring speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology to the iPhone,reports Patently Apple. The new technology would reportedly make it easier to chat in a noisy location, or to send voice messages without uttering a peep.

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As Patently Apple points out, the text-to-speech functionality will be particularly useful for anyone trying to have a conversation at, say, a concert or in a noisy restaurant. The patent shows that the “far-end user” — the person receiving the call — can either choose to have the feature turn on automatically anytime the phone’s microphone detects noise above a certain threshold when a call comes in, or turn on the feature manually for each call.

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