This week the inevitable appears to be revealing itself, that being Apple's plan for Siri, currently on the iPhone 4S exclusively, to be updated to work with online stores for completely voice-only purchases. This would be a gigantic step forward for the futuristic interface that the iPhone 4S currently holds above the heads of the rest of the smartphone world, especially in that it was the first thing we'd hoped it would do when it was launched - it at least expected to be able to do eventually. This future plan comes in the form of a patent discovered by AppleInsider titled "Intelligent Automated Assistant."
What this patent outlines is both everything Siri can already do as well as some rather interesting things Apple has in the bag for the near future. What this patent details is how Siri will be able to in the future work with phrases such as "Sorry, I can't purchase that," for example. This most recent move into e-commerce follows perfectly with how Apple has been giving its smart devices the ability to purchase items on the fly, most notably inside Apple stores, completely employee free save for the back-room pickup.
Apple's patent involving Siri here has the app perhaps even working with the newly updated iBookstore or the iTunes stores as well. Physical items though are what we're most interested in here, Siri looking to work with groups like Best Buy to both check inventory for items* and purchase them by speaking only. *Last month, users gained this ability in full working order thanks to Siri integration with Wolfram Alpha. Soon the next step will be able to be taken.
Credited inventors on this particular patent include such big names as Thomas Robert Gruber, Adam John Cheyer, Didier Rene Guzzoni, Richard Donald Giuli, Marcello Bastea-forte, Christopher Dean Brigham, and Harry Joseph Saddler. Employees of Siri, including Dag Kittlaus, are still in the guts of this patent. Of that you can be sure.