Speak, So The World May Hear You

In his set of four poems titled ‘Four Quartets’, TS Eliot says, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.” These are indeed profound lines because they can be interpreted in so many different ways and if I could take the liberty of applying them to the world of technology then I would state that this year’s words will be spoken by virtual personal assistants.

The exciting, functional and wonderful worlds of Siri, Cortana and Google Now are here to stay. Perhaps it is slightly ironic that we are turning to voice assistants to help us navigate today’s world. After all, so many people seem to have a more intense relationship with their devices; including wearable technology; that speaking to them seems like second nature.

There are many studies comparing the three big players today – Siri, Cortana and Google Now. While these digital assistants do share a whole bunch of common functionalities, there are some that are different as well. For instance, Google Now cannot be summoned with a hardware button whereas Siri and Cortana can. Siri has limited geo-fencing whereas the other two have full function here.

Of course, the big names such as Apple, Google and Microsoft are vying for your voice but there are also companies such as Wit.ai who are working at speech recognition with a difference. The logic behind the products is the fact that it devices are getting smaller and some of the devices do not have screens that you can type on. Therefore, a customized voice control has to be the way of the future.

It is indeed getting more and more possible to simply talk with your smart phone or to wearable technology and get it to do your bidding. You do not have to enunciate the words carefully or even learn specific commands. Even more, voice control can also be applied to a larger ecosystem thanks to the growth of IoT or the Internet of things.

Tasks such as driving, calling somebody, adjusting the thermostat in your house, changing the channels on a television, turning on your microwave and even getting a robot to fetch you your coffee – all of them are going to be voice controllable. The world will also see the growth of voice control in multiple languages as well. Why not, because after all, not everybody around the globe speaks English!

Voice control is also technology that has amazingly personal dimension because Siri and Cortana give you some extremely interesting answers if you ask them feisty questions! It really does feel like you are having a conversation, albeit slightly limited with a friend!

There can be no denying the fact that tomorrow’s voices will indeed belong to various digital assistants and voice recognition software that drives wearable technology. Talking into your wristwatch, smart phone, headband or maybe even your shoes will be an extremely interesting affair because the device will respond to your voice flawlessly.

So go ahead, speak, someone is listening….


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