Computer, tell me a story

Last week brought rumors that Apple’s next iOS will be deeply voice-controlled/controllable. I am in favor.

Imagine this: You get up from your work desk to go home. You double tap your earpiece, and ask (sotto voce?) “Is it raining out?” A few seconds later (after conferring with your iPhone in your pocket), a voice in your ear says, “It is not raining. Current conditions are fifty-eight degrees and partly cloudy.”

Or: You’re out in the yard weeding. The lovely day reminds you that you need to buy sunscreen at the store. You tap your earpiece, “Add sunscreen to my shopping list.” A few seconds later, your earpiece replies, “Sunscreen added to your shopping list. You have ten items on the list.” Your spouse gives you that look that means you spend too much time playing with technology.

Finally, a little further out (next summer/five years from now?): You’re in the middle of a game of Parcheesi with the kids. A thought occurs to you. You call out to the WiFi enabled microphones you have placed about the house, “Computer,” and wait for a soft chime indicating it is ready and listening, “Remind me to search for a copy of the board game, Careers, next time I am online.” A few seconds later, a pleasant voice responds, “I’ve added that to your to do list, Danny.”

I think this is all possible now, certainly the hardware aspect of it. Maybe we will see the software side this summer in iOS 5? If anyone can do it, Apple can.

This is the future, kids.