Computing is ALL about voice now, and that is changing our relationship to computers and the internet. It could have happened technologically 40 years ago but nobody thought of doing it.
Then Amazon unwittingly thought of designing a neat gimmick called Echo and brought it out a year ago. Echo has no keyboard and no display.
How could such a thing work?
Well, all of a sudden, it does work, and it has blasted itself into the marketplace unexpectedly in very large numbers, much to the surprise of Amazon.
It turns out that it is more natural to do things by voice than any other way. Simple.
Voice is the way we interact with humans most easily and effectively, so why not? It is not that voice had not been used for a time with computers and smartphones. It was that Amazon dispensed with the keyboard and screen.
The innovation set off a complete change and simplification in how we use smartphones and suddenly created entirely new demands on our internet connections. With voice computing there must be an uninterrupted connection to the cloud all the time. Not long ago that connection was only occasionally needed for an occasional email. Voice sends your speech patterns up to a super computer which then sends text back.
Voice is also cheap. We don’t need anything more than the $50 device to implement it. What a surprise!
The impacts for me especially is that it opens the door for a simple way for seniors to use computers not only to do all that computer work but to extend the device to the control of lights and other devices, and every other way of keeping connected.
Why didn’t we think of this before?
By Martin Klaver
Martin Klaver is a resident of Willow Valley Communities who spent his professional career as Industrial Engineer and Information Systems Director. As MIS Director of NorthEast Treatment Centers, Philadelphia, Martin computerized paper based systems throughout the company, which runs state services provided by Pennsylvania and Delaware. Earlier Martin pioneered voice recognition systems at Lenox China, working with Dragon (now Nuance) founder Janet Baker. Currently, Martin enjoys teaching and troubleshooting the computer needs of fellow Willow Valley Communities residents, all the while supporting seniors at large in early adoption of the newest technology and tools, currently Smartphones.