Tablets, smartphones spark new life into voice interface technology
One of the most interesting developments to come out of the new generation of mobile technology is the reemergence of voice interface. Though speech-recognition capabilities have been around for some time, the recent growth of smartphones and tablet computers has sparked a new interest in the technology.
Tablets are an especially interesting medium for voice interface technology. Experts anticipate tablet computers to replace or at least supplement the use of laptops and desktops in many environments. However, one obstacle for this trend is the tablet's lack of a physical keyboard.
Many users simply aren't comfortable typing on a digital keyboard, and as a result, they are often hesitant to give up their traditional PCs despite the tablet's clear portability advantages. Voice interaction may change this, however, as it allows users to speak to their devices rather than type, easing some of the concerns about the digital keyboard.
Voice interface for tablet and smartphone technology is not yet where it needs to be, but it is rapidly evolving. A November 2011 Wired magazine report notes that many tablet market leaders are currently exploring the capabilities of speech-recognition applications and considering how they can play a bigger role in their devices. In the coming years, tablet users should expect to see more developments on the voice interface front.