Siri And The Future Of Voice On Mobiles

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It brings me great pleasure to introduce a guest writer hear at Mobile Inquirer.

Ric Richardson caught my attention when writing the article on how to improve smartphone battery life.

He is a very interesting guy who runs his own blog and describes himself as so:

After being in the music and film industries, an entrepreneur and in start-up management for decades, the last half decade has proven that concept proving and prototyping is my true calling. Invention, product assessment and initial market test are my sweet spots.

Catch him here:

Mobile phones and the voice:

As an inventor I have been watching the progress of voice and computers and more specifically smartphones since as long back as I can remember. Ever since captain James T Kirk first recorded his captains log in the first episode of star trek I ever saw, I’ve been waiting for devices to interact the way humans mostly do. By voice.

In summary, I must say the iPhone SIRI is a major step forward. She still spells my name wrong Rick instead of Ric and she sometimes drops in a four letter word at the most inappropriate times but I must say she works.

Social issues v technical issues:

The limitations I have run into are more about the social issue of not speaking to someone on the phone around others and the technical problems that happen when there is loud background noise or other people talking nearby.

But this leads me to another really important need that I think has not been filled yet… And that is the simple idea of recording voice. For over a year I have been trying to get an iPhone app developer to give me a solution that allows me to send and reply emails with voice messages.

I’d like to receive an email from someone, hit a button that starts recording and places a reply or retry button on the screen, record my message and send it with one more button push. From start to finish it would be two buttons and a verbal message. The recipient hears the message in my voice with all the immediacy and integrity of my actual voice and they receive feedback fast. Not hours later when I get to my computer or a spot to type a reply.

I have experimented with this idea for a while. Anyone that sees me in person will often find that I have a voice recorder hanging of a lanyard around my neck. I use the recorder to capture to-dos but mostly to record replies to emails or emails to send which I then send when I get to a computer.

Even further on this idea is an invention I’ve worked on called conversationz. It’s a technology that allows threaded voice messages to be stored with simple hardware. For example, my parents could try calling me and find that I’m not home.. Instead of leaving a voice message they would record a voice snippet with their phone that would be transferred to my phone or computer. When I reply, the reply would be linked to that message NOT my phone number much in the same way that replies in emails are liked to the person AND the subject not just the senders email address.

This way mum could ask for a persons phone number from me and that answer goes to that request on her phone display rather than being seen as just another message from her son.

In fact I’d love for Siri to record my voice messages and send them as audio rather than try to dictate them for me. Now that’s a good idea to explore as soon as Apple opens up the Siri API.

End of captains log star date 31043.45

Anthony Munns