Is Apple bringing Siri to the iMac?

Apple could be working on a desktop version of Siri, after the company filed a patent application for an "Intelligent digital assistant in a desktop environment."

The digital assistant could be integrated into an app, or run in the background and be triggered by voice command. This news follows BlackBerry's announcement last month that it is working on its own digital assistant to rival Siri and Google Now.

"The embodiments disclosed herein provide methods, systems, computer readable storage medium and user interfaces for interacting with a digital assistant in a desktop environment," the patent filing reads.

The Siri digital assistant has been available for iPhone users since 2011, but the company is yet to release a version of the software for its desktop computers.

The patent draws up plans for a digital assistant interface that is able to accept voice commands for performing tasks such as compiling data, conducting searches and dictation.

The patent, further describes how the digital assistant, once activated by voice command, could perform secondary tasks for the user, whilst the user focuses on something else.

Multiple files could also be dropped into the assistant for collation, merging and comparison. For example, the user could drag a folder of pictures into the digital assistant icon, and ask it to sort the photos by date or location.

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The document also outlines input methods for touch sensitive screens, which would allow the user to activate the assistant by conducting a circular movement around its icon.

The 92-page patent application was published by the US patent and Trademark Office yesterday.