New BlackBerry Patent: 4.2′s Voice Commands?

Comments

BlackBerry OS 4.2

With the Pearl oh so near, it’s obvious that we’re only going to see more and more patents coming out of Waterloo, and resting firmly in our greedy little hands. I therefore point you towards USPTO patent application #20060176280, which appears to allow for audio feedback based upon commands that you input on your BlackBerry.

Now, BBHub supposes that this will be for visually impaired BlackBerry users, so they can be sure they’ve hit the right key. We think that it applies to a little bit more than that. Two days ago, with the help of our good friend Jibi, we revealed some of the new features that will be found in OS 4.2. One of these features was the ability to input voice commands (don’t feel bad if you can’t find it, BlackBerry Forums seems to be down).

Now the abstract for patent #20060176280 refers to inputting commands on a device with a “plurality of input elements such as, without limitation, keys.” It also refers to the BlackBerry being able to respond to a command with “one or more spoken words of a digit, a symbol, or a function name associated with the input element.”

The BlackBerry Cool staff believes this patent is really a description of OS 4.2′s voice command and response features. We could also link to a comment made by Boy Genius (who’s had his hands all over the Pearl) about how he’s asked the unreleased BlackBerry how much battery life it has — and it told him — but BlackBerry Forums is down and we can’t find the comment (if someone can get to it and provide a link in our comments section, that would be great). Below you’ll find the patent abstract and a PDF image link.

Patent #20060176280 Abstract:

A method of facilitating the input of information in a handheld electronic device having a plurality of input elements such as, without limitation, keys. The method includes receiving a signal indicating that a particular one of the input elements is being touched in a first manner, providing a feedback signal, such as a sound or graphic, that identifies the particular input element after the signal is received, and performing a function associated with the particular input element when it is being touched in a second manner.

Also, check this out:

In one particular embodiment, the providing step comprises providing the feedback in the form of an audible sound that identifies the particular input element. The audible sound may comprise one or more spoken words of a digit, a symbol, or a function name associated with the input element.

Here‘s the PDF link.