Future Of Speech Recognition
And with that, my little Xbox One flitters to life with sleek voracity and asks me to sign in to my Microsoft Live account, allowing me to access my games, Facebook profile, Netflix and YouTube accounts and so much more, all in one centralized hub of miraculousness. And at the heart of this pretty little black box is the Kinect hardware, allowing me to do everything I’ve ever done as a life-long gamer with my machines but through means of voice control and motion capture. Now that, my gaming-savvy friends, is progress.
But that’s old news for the general tech consensus. While Xbox One and its improved Kinect hardware was released in November 2013, relatively not too long ago from the time of this posting, Kinect technology was first implemented by Microsoft back in 2010 to relatively tepid reception.
While this gamer never had any personal interaction with the original incarnation of Kinect for Xbox’s last generation console, the Xbox 360, I certainly had my doubts regarding its necessity prior to the purchase of my Xbox One. But after literally grabbing pages on the One homescreen with my hands and scrolling to the next page, politely requesting an “Xbox Pause” during a late-night Netflix binge watch of Sons of Anarchy (my console paused without me touching a button!), and the boyhood dream-fulfilling prospect of playing Call of Duty in full motion capture (if you have to go to war, I’m assuming it’s much safer to do so in the confines of your bedroom), I can safely say my doubts of Kinect’s potential have dis-Kinected (bad joke, I’ll stop).
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.com
So I thought to myself: with Kinect and comparable tech available for Sony and Nintendo hardware, it must be only a matter of time before other platforms and mediums take note and begin implementing voice command and motion capture features, right? Imagine fully-integrated voice command in mobile devices, where we could give directions to our phone and it be so precise in its execution of parlaying traffic directions or sending text messages that it almost becomes our daily assistant (step your game up, Siri), or completely transparent tablet or laptop devices that can make use of any surface available. How far are these ideas from becoming realities? Let’s investigate.
Mobile and tablet tech have absolutely made strides in the realm of voice command, with Apple’s aforementioned Siri software being a staple feature of Apple devices since the iPhone 4S release in 2011. But the efficiency of this software has been in question ever since then. So what advancements can we expect from this platform in the futuristic departments?
According to Australian web publication Sunshine Coast Daily after their visit to CES (Consumer Electronics Show) earlier this month, voice command on our mobile devices (blanketing over Samsung Galaxy Gear, Google Glass and any comparable tech) has the intention of synching with home appliances in order for basically anything running by way of electricity to be controlled by a user’s voice. For example, a homeowner can simply shout “going out” while wearing Galaxy Gear or having a mobile device on their person, and all the lights synched to obey commands through the device will shut off. This voice command can idealistically be programmed to correlate with any appliance or piece of tech that supports voice command features, so by whispering a “goodnight” to your television set or a “done” to a microwave machine will bring both devices to a gradual halt.
Samsung devices by way of Samsung Smart Home, the centralized hardware working in tandem with Samsung smart watches and smartphones, will also provide a “home view” feature, allowing for purchasers to install cameras around their household with a feed running to any Samsung device.
And what’s going on with computers? You know, that laptops and desktops we rarely use anymore because our mobile and tablet devices do what they do better?
Well, our friend Kinect is certainly being integrated into PC’s like Windows 8 laptops. If testing on these devices receives positive feedback from testers, critics, and consumers alike, you can look for mass adoption and motion capture in general to become a huge feature of the computer of the future from both PC and Mac technology.
But what about the really cool stuff? You know what I’m talking about: that Minority Report, multi-touch interface, transparent surface and retina scanner hotness.
While retinal scanners are slowly being used by banking ATM machines and public school identification systems here in the US, one day not far from now, many predict an eye-scan of sorts will be a way to unlock a tech device. Hey, it’s not too hard to believe, being that we have already use our fingerprints as passwords!
We already have touch-screen on almost all devices, including laptops and desktops with the tech seeming to work well in coordination with keyboards. With the revolution of touchscreens on almost every device, having a completely transparent, touch-based laptop is something we’re absolutely propelling towards. This is being made possible by the development of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) tech being used to produce digital displays and signage and will later be implemented in consumer television sets and other media platforms. The resolution of OLED displays are nothing short of spectacular, offering a more immersive visual experience than even imaginable. With the inclusion of motion capture and touch capabilities the next logical step in OLED’s progression, it seems as if we’re closer than ever to living life like a Spielberg or Kubrick film. Check out this photo below to see what I’m talking about:
Image Courtesy of notebookaktuell.de of Flickr.com
But hey, let’s worry about all that tomorrow. While it can be exciting to consider the possibilities that start at Xbox One Kinect and end at the immersiveness of OLED and beyond, it can also be overwhelming. For now, let’s enjoy the newest tech developments sitting before us in our living rooms and lying idle in our pockets, because we all know they’ll be obsolete before we can say “Xbox, Off!”
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