Space Ramblings

Why Type and Talk Technology Never Took Off

Sure you see the ads sometimes for Dragon and Windows 7 has some built in talk and type technology, but on the whole the tech has never really taken off. Not that long ago type and talk technology was seen as one of those inevitable futuristic technologies that would revolutionize everything. Instead it’s a background gimmick we don’t see much of. And the reason is very simple. Like a lot of projected futuristic technologies, it doesn’t have that much application in the real world and the hangups involved make it too difficult to use in a broader way.

First there’s the problem of getting type and talk to work with a broad population and a variety of voices, accents, tones and individual vocal quirks. Software like Dragon needs you to spend an hour or so talking into it, just to get it to reliably recognize your voice. And even then the results aren’t always perfect. If your voice deviates too much from the norm, your results will be even worse. Like handwriting recognition, getting software to turn individual writing or speech into data is a tricky problem.

Second, talking is actually slower and clunkier than typing. It might not seem that way because talking feels more natural than typing, but in actual wpm ratios, it’s easier to type an email, than it is to say it. And for people who talk quickly enough that they can beat their own typing speed, the software wouldn’t be able to keep up with them, forcing them to slow down anyway.

Third, typing is an easier way to get your thoughts on paper, than speaking them out loud. Because a physical action helps engage the brain to make your ideas more structured. When you have to structure them mentally while talking, the effort is much greater and the result much looser.

Related posts:

Post Navigation

Custom Avatars For Comments
%d bloggers like this: