According to the Global Web Index, at least 325,8 million people used voice control for their gadgets in January of this year. That is, in fact, almost 10 percent of the entire online population. On its official blog, Google stated that 41 percent of adults and 55 percent of teenagersuse either Siri, Google Now, or Cortana voice recognition system at least once a day. As of now, one in every 5 searches made with Google Android App in the United States is a voice search.
Taking this into account, it is evident that voice control is, indeed, the next big thing in the technology that we use every day. However, a question might arise – are there any benefits? Why should we use voice to take notes, answer an email, or order pizza? How is that better from the conventional ways? Also, why is everyone so obsessed with it? We think we might have a couple of reasons for you.
Voice control is convenient when there is a massive flow of information
As the time goes by, gadgets become smarter and smaller; many of them don’t even have enough room for a keyboard. We have all been there – trying to keep up with the flow of information on an important meeting, for example, by frantically typing it on our phone. At the end of the day, we always end up with is a messy pile of unfinished sentences. Moreover, nobody you know enjoys loud tapping noises of a laptop, particularly at the board meeting or a strategic planning session, for instance.
Speech to text technology is better at typing than we are
Computers have already beaten humans at chess, Go, and Jeopardy. However, now there is one more thing added to the list of victories: typing. A new joint study by Stanford University, the University of Washington, and the Chinese Internet giant Baidu found that when put against 32 humans aged 19 to 35, Baidu’s Deep Speech 2 software won big time. People took turns saying and then typing sets of short common phrases into their phone – and the software was three times faster at taking notes, as well as the error rate was 20.4 percent lower than people using a keyboard. So no typing for us humans in the future!
It is the definition of “hands-free”
UX and UI specialists have probably never been as concerned with the accessibility of technology, as nowadays. The idea that every design and mechanism should be as undemanding and effortless as possible has deeply penetrated consumers’ minds – so much that some pros believe it is actually overrated. That is where the voice recognition comes into play. In this day and age, when most things are done “on the go” it is important to make sure anybody can do anything hands-free. Driving your car, holding your coffee, doing the laundry, or walking your dog should not stop you from completing your shopping list or organizing your notes.
That’s when something like Senstone comes into play; a tiny little pendant that meets the needs of small gadget lovers and writes your notes down for you, while automatically organizing them.
Many tech giants are investing into and developing the voice recognition technology
Lately, every top tech company has been investing substantial funds and human resources in order to implement and develop voice recognition technology in their products. Google with their Google Now, Apple with Siri, Amazon with Alexa and potentially many others see this technology as a groundbreaking advance which will change the way people interact with their gadgets – and maybe even households! Who knows, maybe someday you might have to convince your children that back in the day you would have to actually controlthe process of cooking food instead of just telling the oven to “stop when ready.”
We will get used to it
Vocally communicating with your tech might seem odd and inconvenient now, especially if most people imagine it as having a conversation with your microwave. But the thing is, we will get used to voice commands and speech-to-text as quickly, as we did with the switch from buttons to touchscreens. Moreover, even that changes all the time: we came all the way from clicking “cancel” or “show more” to swiping, double-tapping and force-touching. So why not try this technology now? Prepare yourself for the wonders of the future!
Not convinced? Well, we do realize that in the past few decades speech recognition technology has earned a pretty bad rep. However, in reality, these features will undoubtedly get better, the same way our cameras went a long way from potato quality to an actual award in cell phone photography. Microphones, along with other hardware, get immensely better every day, and supercomputers can work through unbelievable amounts of data through the process called Deep Learning. In his publication on Tensor2Tensor library, Łukasz Kaiser of Google predicts a rapid acceleration of Deep Learning Research, which includes advances in machine translation, object detection, speech recognition, and, therefore, voice to text transcription.
Who knows, this thing might just be the bridge between us and the talking heads in glass jars from Futurama or the hologram Jedi Council meetings.
Did you like this article? Sign up and we’ll send you more awesome posts like this every ten days.