Voice assistants have come a long way and over the past few years, we have seen tons of advancements in the field of AI which directly influenced all the assistants. But the major setback was the incredible awkwardness associated while talking to a virtual assistant in public. Thanks to Microsoft as they have found a solution which if turn out in a product can address the issue.
Microsoft recently filed a patent which enables users to interact with your their assistants without being caught. The module can detect whispers by translating the airflow generated at that time into commands(via WC).
Implementations of the subject matter described herein provide a silent voice input solution without being noticed by surroundings. 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.
This, however, is not to be confused with any standalone device as it is not another smart device. Instead, it can be used on any of your computing devices be it your smartphone, smartwatch.
Now since it is just a patent and far from being an actual product, you should always keep your expectation. As the case with most of the patents, Microsoft could just put it in the cold storage for an indefinite time.