Despite having their lovers and haters like any other tech company, Samsung has always been known above all for pushing the envelope in regards to new features and crazy designs. TouchWiz, for all the mixed reactions it gets on the internet, has historically been one of the most feature-rich smartphone interfaces out there and it seems like each iteration further refines the forumla and adds new features. Some of the features of TouchWiz, such as dual window and quick settings, have even found their way into vanilla Android. Now, it seems they’re at it again, this time throwing a patent application through KIPRIS, the Korean Intellectual Property office, showing a method for future phones to recognize when a user intends to whisper.
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The patent is called “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RECOGNIZING WHISPERED VOICE”. As seen in the picture above, a user would cup their hand near their mouth and around the phone to activate whisper recognition. The filing was actually made back in July of 2014, but has just recently surfaced. This patent application did not go into detail or specifics, since such a technology, to our knowledge, has yet to be developed. According to the picture shown, the gesture would be recognized by a palm or full finger pressed to the screen, although it’s possible that the proximity sensor and microphone could also play a role. A spot in the bottom right of the phone is pointed to, indicating something there may also be part of the equation. Whether this may be a secondary proximity sensor, a small camera or anything else is not shown.
This upcoming technology has been in the shadows for some time, but has only now come to light. With no other leaks, it’s hard to believe this will be showing up in Samsung’s phones any time soon. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S7 has already been revealed in some detail and there has been no mention of this feature being added to TouchWiz. It could very well show up in future phones, but nothing concrete has surfaced quite yet. It is, of course, possible that the feature could show up in just about any Samsung phone, since it seems to use tech that exists in just about every smartphone.