Four things to know – siri, hands, voice

Texting and driving at the same time in California? With the use of speech recognition and text to speech technology it will be legal again.

On Jan. 1, it will be legal for Californians to text while driving as long as it is voice-activated and hands-free.

Here are four things to keep in mind if you want to send messages while driving.

Dictation quality varies

The amount of ambient noise and quality of the microphone(s) are just a few of the factors that can contribute to widely varying quality of voice transcriptions. Some gadgets, for example, have multiple microphones to identify and single out noise. Keep in mind that if something goes wrong with a message, you can’t start fumbling with your phone or you’re liable for a ticket.

Siri on the iPhone 4S is a mixed bag

The iPhone 4S is the only iPhone with Siri. The earlier iPhone 4 and iPhone 3S, both on sale too, can’t use the voice command system. Apple is adding support for Siri in the newest iPad when it releases the iOS 6 software update in the next few months. Pressing and holding the call button on a bluetooth headset connected to an iPhone 4S should activate Siri too, which can send messages you’ve dictated.

The iOS 6 update later this year will include the ability to launch apps by voice as well, opening up the possibility of other apps eventually integrating with the hands-free dictation and command functionality. One thing to keep in mind is Siri is considered a rare public “beta” release from Apple, meaning it isn’t a finished product and is still in testing. In other words, expect bugs.

Android users keep an eye out for 4.1 Jellybean

The latest version of Android, 4.1, includes the ability to do dictation while offline. This could be a big differentiator, as connectivity issues while performing dictation can be a big problem. Android phones have had voice controls for a long time, and with this latest software update, Android devices can do more without needing an Internet connection.

4G LTE probably will help

Dictation and transcription software relies on voice recognition software installed on both the device itself and on a server. Sometimes voice recognition can be handled on the device itself, but other times it is shipped off over an Internet connection for some high-powered server to figure things out. As such, a slower Internet connection can be problematic.

Higher speed 4G LTE networks from AT&T, Verizon and, eventually, Sprint could make these voice recognition systems speedier. For example, a Sprint iPhone 4S with Siri frequently takes severals seconds to come up with transcriptions as it sends out data over a slower 3G connection, and accuracy has been hit and miss. If and when Apple releases its next iPhone, it will likely have this higher speed 4G LTE along with Siri. However, a growing number of Android phones are already 4G LTE.

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Four things to know – siri, hands, voice

Texting and driving at the same time in California? With the use of speech recognition and text to speech technology it will be legal again.

On Jan. 1, it will be legal for Californians to text while driving as long as it is voice-activated and hands-free.

Here are four things to keep in mind if you want to send messages while driving.

Dictation quality varies

The amount of ambient noise and quality of the microphone(s) are just a few of the factors that can contribute to widely varying quality of voice transcriptions. Some gadgets, for example, have multiple microphones to identify and single out noise. Keep in mind that if something goes wrong with a message, you can’t start fumbling with your phone or you’re liable for a ticket.

Siri on the iPhone 4S is a mixed bag

The iPhone 4S is the only iPhone with Siri. The earlier iPhone 4 and iPhone 3S, both on sale too, can’t use the voice command system. Apple is adding support for Siri in the newest iPad when it releases the iOS 6 software update in the next few months. Pressing and holding the call button on a bluetooth headset connected to an iPhone 4S should activate Siri too, which can send messages you’ve dictated.

The iOS 6 update later this year will include the ability to launch apps by voice as well, opening up the possibility of other apps eventually integrating with the hands-free dictation and command functionality. One thing to keep in mind is Siri is considered a rare public “beta” release from Apple, meaning it isn’t a finished product and is still in testing. In other words, expect bugs.

Android users keep an eye out for 4.1 Jellybean

The latest version of Android, 4.1, includes the ability to do dictation while offline. This could be a big differentiator, as connectivity issues while performing dictation can be a big problem. Android phones have had voice controls for a long time, and with this latest software update, Android devices can do more without needing an Internet connection.

4G LTE probably will help

Dictation and transcription software relies on voice recognition software installed on both the device itself and on a server. Sometimes voice recognition can be handled on the device itself, but other times it is shipped off over an Internet connection for some high-powered server to figure things out. As such, a slower Internet connection can be problematic.

Higher speed 4G LTE networks from AT&T, Verizon and, eventually, Sprint could make these voice recognition systems speedier. For example, a Sprint iPhone 4S with Siri frequently takes severals seconds to come up with transcriptions as it sends out data over a slower 3G connection, and accuracy has been hit and miss. If and when Apple releases its next iPhone, it will likely have this higher speed 4G LTE along with Siri. However, a growing number of Android phones are already 4G LTE.

More-latest speech technologies
Social share or comment – what do you think?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

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