The filing notes that portable electronics such as cellular phones have become commonplace and are often used with docking stations and the like. Some devices, such as the iPhone, can perform various functions including voice calling, messaging, emailing, media playback, etc.
To utilize these functions, a user typically interacts with the device using their finger and a graphical user interface, thus requiring the device to be in close proximity to the user. If the mobile device is on a docking station to charge, it may be out of the user's reach when needed.
Apple's solution describes a dock which is comprised of a housing, a connector extending from the housing to connect the portable electronic device to the dock, a microphone integrated within the housing, and a processor. The processor is operatively coupled to receive audio input from the microphone and is configured to, in response to the audio input, transmit a message to the portable electronic device via the connector to activate a voice recognition mode of the portable electronic device. Once in voice recognition mode, the user would be able to command the device without needing to handle it directly.
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