People tend to disparage voice recognition as something that will never work well. I can see their point. We all have been promised voice recognition for probably 20 years now and yet it never seems to quite work. Systems are now approaching 98% accuracy (which is better than most humans) and yet we still complain.
I think however it may finally be at hand. Check out this new video about Google TV. (H/T Gizmodo)
There are several things to note about this video.
- We all talk (some yell) to our TVs currently. Now at least it will actually do something!
- Current cable box listing are horrid. As a market, it reminds me of early mp3 players (or smartphones) before Apple came out with the iPod and iPhone and showed everyone how it’s done. I still think Apple will come out with their own Smart TV pretty soon.
- This will have implications for education.
So I’m sure you are asking how can a TV you can talk to affect education? Well, children will become conditioned to just asking for information and getting it instantly. I can imagine my new son asking for “Elmo” or something like that. (he’s not born yet, but let’s face it, all kids like Elmo).
My little niece Nora visited a few weeks ago. She’s 2. Her Daddy has an iPad so Nora knew what it was. She therefore took my iPad, and flipped the icons until she saw the red Netflix icon. She launched Netflix and then asked me for “Monkey”. (it was amazingly cute by the way) That meant she wanted to watch Curious George. Imagine if the system had voice recognition? She would have been able to get what she wanted by herself. This will be a key feature to my idea of Smart Toys. (see How Personalized Learning Will Take Off)
This new generation will have more access to information at a much earlier age than ever before. It will help set their expectations for what they will expect in school. Try handing them a paper textbook and see how they react.