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.