Apple wants Siri to give you navigation instructions like a human


Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon.
Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Getting direction from a computer sucks, but that could soon change based on a new patent filed by Apple for “Humanized Navigation Instructions for Mapping Applications.

Rather than receiving instructions from an emotion-less robot, Apple’s new patent would make Siri’s turn-by-turn directions sound more like they’re coming from your buddy in the passenger seat by mixing in references to restaurants and landmarks.

Here’s some examples you might here, instead of just being told “in 500 feet, turn right”:

  • “Exit the parking lot near AppleBees® restaurant and then turn right towards Golden Ave.”
  • “Your destination is the apartment complex with the water fountain in the front.”
  • “Your destination is behind OfficeMax.”

According to the patent filed in October 2013, the system is “focused on comprehension rather than precision,” and will give you more details about the surrounding area when you start and end your trip.

Apple’s patent claims the system could use crowdsourced data to make corrections to confusing instructions that led to missed turns and freeway exits, so other drivers can be given better instructions quicker.

Instead of telling drivers to “Head north” the patent would orient drivers in the proper direction by using nearby landmarks and your surroundings. To do so, Apple’s mapping system would need access to data that navigation system normally don’t have, but that could explain why we’ve seen so many of those mysterious vans driving about.

Via: The Verge

  • Boo Radley


    • Omer

      My thoughts exactly, lol.

  • Mark Langston

    Sounds awesome!! Though I still prefer Apple Maps design and interface Google is just more informative. Apple’s finally getting better about gathering store hour information but what really irks me is when I search for something and it only provides results in my general area.

    That’s how it should perform but when Google Maps when I scroll around the map it retains the search results and shows me matches as I pan around. With Apple I’d have to zoom way, way out the perform the search again.

    Sounds like a minor thing but it’s a feature Google has that Apple doesn’t. Though I have to give credit where credit is due and Apple is living up to their promise that Maps would get better.

    • AlanAudio

      “… but what really irks me is when I search for something and it only provides results in my general area.”

      I get really cross when searching on Maps for something that IS in my area, but all the results are elsewhere, or even in another continent.

      In the UK, there is a village called Eye, which is near Peterborough. Recently when I tried to navigate to Eye using Maps, it suggested various eye hospitals, commercial operations and road names incorporating the text “eye”, but the village did not appear on the suggestions, even though it’s named on Apple Maps when you find it manually.

      It would be nice if Maps were smart enough to work out that if I’m asking for navigation details and my iPhone’s GPS knows that I’m in the UK, then it’s pretty unlikely that I would be looking to drive to Baltimore. When there are multiple places with the same name, listing them in order of proximity might be a good start.

      I’m finding that there are huge numbers of British villages which are named on Maps, but unable to be found by searching within Maps. The database within Maps still needs a lot of work.

  • This should be fine as long as Siri doesn’t get too emotional and start chastising us for missing turns or screwing up. Siri: “I TOLD you to turn right at that last corner! Now I have to recalculate the entire route! Do you know how many processing cycles this is going to eat up? Really, I think you should pay better attention to me. You could get into an accident the way you drive, and another thing…” I can definitely do without this kind of human emotion.

    This was one of the reasons I fell in love with GPS’s in the first place — it was refreshing for its lack of make-wrong and upset. I loved the simple “Recalculating route” without being told I was a bozo. It made driving and finding my way around a strange city a relaxing and no penalty endeavor.

  • josephz2va

    Meanwhile other improvements are skirted aside like dropping the 3D project on non-important cities. Yet Google took the time and did it anyways.

  • Jack de Guzman

    I would love that.. and if you took the wrong turn, SIRI would say: “I told you to turn right you st+++id. One more error and I’ll send you to the moon!”. jajajaja! thats gonna be fun!