Thursday, 13 June 2013

Who said that? - using voice actions to control your phone.





Voice Actions: controlling your phone by your voice

For many years most smart phones have been able to use voice actions to control the phone.  Although initially in a rudimentary form, as a voice search we now have Siri on the iPhone and iPad and Google Now for Android users as well as a range of other bespoke Assistant apps that can be downloaded.

What I find interesting is: how many people actually use their voice to control their phone?

I use it sporadically, often when I remember to, not as a default. I have tried using it with Google Maps to speak a post code of the address I am driving to and been flummoxed by the lack of the software to differentiate between the letters, of its ability to add spurious letters or numbers to what I have said.

I have tried voice searches with marginally more success, but I am still on a 50% hit rate here.

Thus, I am sitting here contemplating what other do and how they find using voice activated operations on their phone.  This becomes even more important with the rise of voice actions as a key development strand in iOS and Android devices.

Thus question 2: are the main smartphone companies following a white elephant or do we actually want voice control?

This leads to question 3 and 4: if you do use voice commands what do you use them for and how often?

Finally are voice actions the way of the future or are we looking for an alternative scenario such as gestures?

Update

 In recent years, voice control has improved considerably and therefore many people are using this method with increasing success. Voice controlled apps are getting more accurate and the more they are used the better and more accurate they become as they have a learning programme built in which recognises the idiosyncrasies of your particular voice.

Although I suspect that they will never be that popular in public, in private it is great to just say "OK Google" and then ask your question or request an action. One issue that I have noted is that the accuracy is effected by background noise, which is a issue considering we live in such as  loud world.