Say goodbye to that awkward feel when using digital assistants in the public! Microsoft seems to have developed a technology to whisper voice commands, which can be used on a wide variety of devices.

Going by the name of Silent Voice Input, the goal is to make using digital assistants a more natural thing, particularly in public and crowded spaces.

According to the company, implementing this new system makes it possible to send voice commands to a digital assistant either by whispering them or by bringing them close to the mouth. The patent describes that this approach could be used on phones, smartwatches, even other devices.

An indication that it may even be eventually implemented on non-Microsoft products too — provided the technology, does in fact, makes it to market.

The image below aptly illustrates the deal:

Patent Silent Voice Input

And this is what the patent reads:

“Compared with conventional voice input solutions which are based on normal speech or whispering that use egressive (breathing-out) airflow while speaking, the proposed “silent” voice input method is performed by using opposite (ingressive or breathing-in) airflow while speaking.

By placing the apparatus (e.g. microphone) of the apparatus very close to the user’s mouth with an small gap formed between the mouth and the apparatus, the proposed silent voice input solution can capture stable utterance signal with a very small voice leakage, and thereby allowing the user to use ultra-low volume speech input in public and mobile situations, without disturbing surrounding people. Besides of air flow direction (ingressive and egressive), all other utterance manners are same as our whispering, so that proposed method can be used without special practice.”

Egressive, eh?

Goes without saying that this is still in patent stage, and only time will tell whether the technology is at an advanced enough to reach mass production.

But amidst rumors that Microsoft is moving away from Cortana, and giving up on its digital assistant, developments like this provide hope that the software titan continues to innovate, enhance it solutions and tries to solve issues along the way.

That’s all one can ask!

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