In a usability perspective, Qwerty keyboards suck. The urban legend is that when the IBM engineers first designed the Querty keyboard they tried to make it as uncomfortable as possible so people won’t make spelling mistakes while typing. By now, we can all agree that touch screens have completely transformed the way consumers interact with their electronic devices, and specifically, their mobile phones. What might have seemed like a science fiction technology just a few years ago, has now become the standard in the mobile industry.
Voice is the New Touch
Voice Recognition is a pretty old concept coined in 1952 by the first “Speech Recognizer“. In the last few years, we have witnessed some major advancements in voice recognition software, that have enabled this state-of-the-art technology to be adopted and implemented on the mass consumer market. Industry giants, such as Microsoft and Google have allotted major resources to help advance speech to text technology, and we are already beginning to see the results.
Speech to Text and Mobile Phones – A Natural Fit?
One of the most common disadvantages of the modern smartphone is text input. Mobile phones, by their very concept, are intended to be compact and pocketable devices, hence the word “Mobile” in “Mobile Phone”. Whether you are a fan of the hardware QWERTY keyboard, or you have grown accustomed to the virtual on screen software keyboard, the size of these keyboards are very small, making them more difficult to type on when compared to the full size computer keyboard. Many app developers attempt to address this issue by either developing alternative text input methods, such as enhanced keyboard layouts, while other developers ensure that their apps require as little text input as possible. There is of course an entire industry of mobile accessories that also attempt to solve this issue with Bluetooth keyboards. The newest trend and the only one truly thinking out of the box makes the case that typing on a mobile phone should be avoided all together. Why not let the phone do the writing by translating your voice into text? The following are 4 mobile apps that use speech to text on Google Android devices:
Taskos To-Do List
In conclusion, it seems that the voice recognition technology just reached maturity and is about to reinvent once again the human-computer interaction. We can all expect more and more mobile applications to make an extensive use of this outstanding technology and give us, the users, an easier way to communicate with our mobile devices.