Saturday, October 01, 2011

Speak now, or forever hold your piece. Is voice the new touch?

Voice Actions for Android, Google Blog post >>

It's time to speak up. It's time to be heard!

Touch devices didn't storm onto the marketplace in 2007. Rather, there was a decade of light showers of touch. Devices of all sorts were breaking in consumers to a touch-input world: ticket machines at airports, ATMs, cars, palm pilots. It was slow going for a while, but now the majority of smartphones sold come with touch displays.

After using verbal input in Google Maps on Android, I'm convinced the same is about to happen with voice input for phones. And like touch input, we've been broken into the concept of voice input for years now, shouting instructions into telephone menu systems, looking up names in feature phones, voice Googling on the PC, and even talking to cars.

Most smartphone platforms currently support voice input of one sort or another, whether it be at the application or OS level. For the most part, it borders on amazing, especially for native speakers of a supported language. Try, for example, Nuance on iOS or Voice Actions on Android. Try voice searching (voicing?) for a complex address in Google Maps for mobile. You'll be sold.

So Tellme something: are you ready to start talking?

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