The speech to text software has been changing the way we record information. Slowly, but surely, more and more people get used to the idea that the keyboard is not the be-all and end-all of typing.
But isn’t the whole voice input business just another a fad? And if it does stick around, should we expect the epic battle of two input methods?
Every 1 in 4 adults in the United States uses voice to communicate with the machine. Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant have become so common, nobody bats an eye when you ask the room to pull up some music. And if we take a look at the stats, it’s green across the board, with steady growth for voice tech and consumer awareness on the rise. All in less than 20 years! Surely this means the good ol’ keyboard is about to go the way of the dodo.
To see the truth behind things, sometimes you have to think small. One person. One friend group. One family. One business. Numbers point you in the right direction, but with little context they can be misleading.
While we are starting to entrust more and more to voice tech, it seems like the average user sees a very specific set of tasks where it’s useful on the daily – and where it surpasses the keyboard.
- Hands-free calls
- Internet search
- Small purchases (take-out, groceries, books)
- Requesting information and media (weather forecast, music)
If we think even smaller, reading comments and product reviews, the reality seems to be that voice input and keyboard complement each other – at least for now. Of course, sometimes voice gadgets get ahead of the ‘traditional’ input methods. Case in point: Scripter, a wearable developed as a more powerful version of Senstone productivity voice assistant (you might have heard about it a couple of years ago when it took Kickstarter by storm; looks like the devs are going to take the crowdfunding approach again, this time with Scripter).
Another point in favor of voice is that it’s bringing technology to places where it used to be impossible or dangerous, such as taking notes while driving – which has become perfectly safe, because in 2021 the driver doesn’t have to look away from the road to jot down a memo.
A couple of months ago, one of our friends asked the innovation-savvy crowd over at Quora,
“What technology will eventually replace the keyboard?
The answers we received illustrate our point pretty well. While the majority agrees voice interface will move the keyboard from its current pedestal, diversity and flexibility is in high demand. The more options for different tasks, the better.
“Voice recognition and dictation will primarily replace the keyboard, but editing and various shortcuts will still need a keyboard, either actual mechanical keys or software or projected and sensed, will still be needed. – Bradley Dichter
“It’s hopefully never going to be a total replacement – but in the kitchen you can be elbow deep in gunge and still set a timer and turn the radio volume down. – Andy White
“Voice isn’t out of place on mobile devices, but I don’t think we’ll see anything replacing keyboards on computers. – Stan Hanks
“With gadgets like personal assistants – Alexa, Siri, etc. all in the works and getting better and better every day, you would think that there would be no need for a keyboard anymore. Everything will be voice. That is good. – Julian Pereira
How do you see voice technology replacing the keyboard in your life? If you were given a perfect voice recognition software, would you stop using the keyboard on your phone? The questions that used to belong in science fiction are becoming relevant.