Skip to main content

Apple granted new patent for Siri icon

Apple has been granted a patent for Siri and the glowing icon associated with the digital voice assistant.

The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple the rights to the design - a silver microphone that glows purple when active.

The design is based loosely on the RCA ribbon-type microphone manufactured in the 1940s, according to Apple Insider, which first reported the news. A patent application was initially filed on 4 October, 2011 — the same day Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S and Siri.

Siri lives to serve, allowing users to send messages, schedule meetings, make phone calls, and more, with just the push of a button and the sound of their voice.

"The microphone icon lights up to let you know that Siri hears you talking," Apple's Siri FAQ site said. "Once you've started a dialogue with Siri, tap the microphone icon to talk to it again."

The Cupertino-based firm has already run into legal trouble with its voice assistant. Earlier in the year, a New York man sued Apple for false advertising regarding the software. In July, a Chinese company filed suit against Apple for patent infringement with Siri, shortly before a Taiwanese university took the US company to court for infringing on two speech-recognition patents.

Siri is available on the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad mini, the fifth-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad 3 running iOS 6. Recent rumours, meanwhile, suggest that Siri might be integrated into the next version of Mac OS X.

In other Siri-related news, American car manufacturer General Motors announced that its Chevrolet Spark and Sonic LTZ and RS models will come with Siri's Eyes Free mode beginning in 2013.

Apple has been racking up patents this year, including one for 5D technology, a flexible iPad Smart Cover design, and dual-mode headphones that turn into speakers.

In the weeks before the iPhone 5 release, reports revealed that Adam Cheyer, co-creator of Siri, left Apple, where he had been working in the mobile software group. The voice-recognition app was acquired by the firm in 2010.