Google Patent Voice-Command Phone Unlocking

While Apple's keen to make sure nobody ever uses the iPhone's slide-to-unlock system, Google seemingly couldn't care less. It's filed a patent listing a whole heap of news ways to unlock your phone — including voice commands.

Patently Apple report that Google has filed a patent that describes new ways to unlock mobile devices, which would allow users to simultaneously execute commands, like calling a specific contact or launching an application. In fact, some Android devices already allow something similar — my HTC Sensation allows me to open one of four applications as I unlock my handset — but this patent also explains how different commands could be used to the same effect.

Most interestingly, the patent discusses using voice commands to unlock handsets. [Patently Apple]


    this is stupid simply because android fans have been laughing at siri because they say who the hell would want to talk to their phone in public. Now google patents voice unlock or something and i bet android fans will be like "OMG voice commands ftw"

    in my opinion slide to unlock is by far the simplest and i wouldnt want to unlock my phone with my voice. that said, i do have a 4S (will never move to android/windows even if apple starts selling 90's technology phones) but i dont really use siri or find it beneficial. however, it is pretty good to use sometimes.

      I think they did it not so much for the use of voice to unlock the phone, it's more so that Apple in it's infinite thirst for stifling the competition, can't stop others from creating better products than them..

      Android already had voice commands for a donkey's age. It worked slightly better than my girlfriend's iPhone 4, even with my speech impediment. Not something I use, but Google are just playing the game that Apple started when it started patenting everything under the sun with no actual product to show for it. And I trust Google not to abuse it, considering their lack of overall involvement in this mess.

      Sniff-sniff ... smells like fanboi.

      In any case the loser in all this is the consumer yet again.


        The more fanboyism, the less chance there is of good competition. Say android 'wins' or apple 'wins' (whatever that means), do you really want there to be only one choice? Get lives folks. I hear they're great.

    This is getting ridiculous. Both Apple and Google's patents seem to be getting more absurd by the day. These are simple gestures or commands for Christ's sake! Rather basic pieces of code, relatively speaking.

    What's next? Patenting specific voice commands? Maybe go one step furrther and start patenting the English language itself! (if Google end up owning half the English dictionary, and Apple the other, it's gong to make my next smartphone rather difficult to operate..)

    Good on Google for patenting it. I'd prefer it to be Google rather than Apple. And cant wait to use voice unlock in future phones - something that will be much better than their current face unlock on the Galaxy Nexus as voice patterns are unique. As long as they implement it right, it should be great if they allow users to create their own unique sentence or question and answer and use that as the unlock method.

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