With all the advances in digital technology, many people still complain about the “tyranny of the keyboard.” At first we were limited to the use of typing skills to access information from computers, and even with advances like the mouse and touch-screens, the problem is that we human beings are required to learn and adapt, rather than technology adapting to us. Mobile devices like palm-sized computers and cell phones with internet access have freed users from the desk, but most still require some type of manual input.
However, recent advances in speech recognition technology are changing this. More and more, mobile phones and other devices have integrated speech recognition software and hardware that allows you to automatically dial someone in your contact list by simply speaking their name. Most 411 directory information systems and some airlines and hotels have also begun using the technology.
The most advanced system available now, and the clear winner in the battle for consumer acceptance of the new technology, is produced by a company called “Tell Me.” And you don’t need a keyboard or a computer to try it. Just call (800) 555-8355 – they advertise it in the easier-to-remember format: “(800) 555-TELL” – and speak to it just as you would a person.
There are many useful features, but the one that I’ve found most useful is “Driving Directions.” Just like Yahoo or Google Maps will give you turn-by-turn directions from one address to another, the Tell Me system will read them to you step-by-step after you’ve told it your starting and ending addresses.
Other features are current stock quotes, sports scores & news, weather information, connection to airlines or hotels or rental car or taxi services, movie information from Fandango, horoscopes, lottery results, soap operas plot summaries, a 411 business directory, business-world-entertainment news, and a black-jack game (voiced by a wicked Sean Connery imitation).
Hope you will find the technology useful as so many companies are adopting these systems, and, of course, adding their own audio advertising into the mix, so it may be a good idea for clients who are upgrading from the old telephone tree systems “Press 1 for this, press 2 for that.”