Look ma, no screen

Google is hard at work preparing for the day when computer screens are no longer needed. Where the symbiotic relationship you share with your keyboard is defunct. Entering the matrix and having an intimate relationship is a nirvana for some but I for one hope it never happens.
Voice control is not a new concept and it’s the first step to freeing ourselves from the keyboard and staring at a screen. I remember getting one of the first versions of Dragon’s Naturally Speaking and spending HOURS training it in the hopes that I could speak my middle school essays rather than type them. Fast forward 20 years and I don’t feel like we are THAT much further in our quest to become one with our machines. You won’t be seeing anyone in the office setting dictating notes or interacting via hand gestures most likely ever. I can type just as fast as I can speak so that my computer can understand me and dictating periods and commas just seems contrary to efficiency. Having 23 people talking to their computer rather than their neighbor is not something I want to be a part of.
We’re already insulated enough with our headphones and multiple screen command posts that I’d hate to see us having full on conversations with ourselves and our digital counterparts.
There are legit uses for voice control. Asking for directions, quick one-off web searches, and short texts are the sweet spot for this. That being said, I want to talk to my phone, it’s what I’m used to and I carry it with me everywhere. I don’t want to add another piece of tech to my already growing arsenal. Technologies like Google Glass will be a gimmick, in my opinion relegated to catching attention at networking events. It will be the QR code of human/computer synergy, very few uses for something that is in itself an extremely complicated process.
Obviously integrating tech with our lives is never going to end and in most cases has been a huge benefit but I see voice being still in its infancy 20 years later. It’s still clunky, doesn’t feel natural, and I hope it never does. We are all too wrapped up in our digital lives as it is, walking into poles while texting or browsing the internet while watching TV, while reading on our Kindle. I’m not one to cry “unplug” but everything in moderation please.

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