And let’s not forget speech…

Shortly after I posted my last post i received a tweet from DK over at MediaSnackers recommending I check out the Dragon dictation app on the iPhone as another example of how changes are occurring in the way we interface with our mobile devices. No sooner had I begun to explore that than my friend Malcolm sent me a link to a new app launched by Google that will let you talk to your mobile phone as if you are asking a friend to do something for you (see video above). It’s called Voice Actions for Android, and provides a series of spoken commands that let you control your phone using your voice.

I guess the real message here is that either way, voice or gesture, we’re beginning to see real signs of alternative forms of human interface with technology becoming more mainstream, and, as with all the other things we’re considering, the question for educators is not “how can we integrate these into our classrooms?”, but “what can we learn from the way these things are adopted and used that might inform how and what we need to be teaching in the future?”

4 thoughts on “And let’s not forget speech…

  1. Neat apps! I struggle with voice recognition on the iPhone, mostly because they can’t pick up Manukau, Otara, Tamaki (Auckland places) and a range of other Pasifika/Maori words. And because very rarely do we have a quiet environment for the software to gauge what I have asked. lol Love the look and style of both apps, thanks for sharing Derek.


    1. Hi Naketa – I suspect the issues you raise are a part of the reason why voice recognition has been slower to adoption than expected. There was a lot of talk in the early 90s about VR taking over from typing, but the combination of the technology being in an immature state and the difficulties with dialects and accents meant that it’s been longer than expected to adoption. These apps, however, would indicate that it’s not a lost cause, and that we can expect to see a lot more of it in the future – hopefully in a version that’s fully accepting of the Maukau/Otara/Tamaki accents 🙂


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