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Can Mobile Speech Recognition Make Our Gadgets More Practical?

May 30, 2012
By Nick Ruble, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Smartphones are evolving at a pretty rapid pace lately – before Android (News - Alert) and iDevices, Blackberry and Palm handsets were probably the most powerful mobile devices on the market.

With 2007 came the first-generation iPhone (News - Alert), shortly followed by Android’s debut with the HTC G1 in 2008. Both devices were a breakthrough in personal communications to say the least, but neither come close to the insanely powerful gadgets we’ve been introduced to in just the past year or two.

It’s as if manufacturers are trying to cram the mind of a laptop into the body of a smartphone, which is great, but can make for a few limitations.

For one, batteries aren’t always extremely efficient when running video conferencing apps or chatting on the phone all day. With the introduction of tablets and peripherals like keyboards, it’s now easier than ever to ditch the netbook for a smaller and more portable solution, but only so much battery life can be contained in such a small chassis.

If businesses are relying on tablets and smartphones to increase the productivity of employees, power consumption limitations can really put a damper on things.

What’s more, cellphones have always provided a means of reaching someone when they’re out and about, but with the growing popularity of texting and mobile email clients, the use of such devices has proven quite dangerous when driving.

How could we cut back on power consumption and smartphone-related accidents? Possibly with mobile speech recognition technologies.

If the user isn’t relying on a graphical interface to navigate through his or her device, that means the screen doesn’t have to be on – which greatly saves on battery as well as eliminates the need for them to keep looking down at their phone and instead focus on the road.

Most, if not all, smartphones come stock with at least a little bit of voice-command functionality, but it’s never really been a huge area of interest for consumers. The main selling point is usually how powerful and responsive the device is, the screen size and what it can actually do.

A ton of developers have been rolling out voice recognition apps to keep user’s eyes on the road, but it has yet to become the talk of the town for the most part. Perhaps if devices were to ship with a super user-friendly and powerful means of voice control, more consumers would pick up on it.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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