Voice Recognition in Your Phone

Samsung’s new P207 cell phone actually has voice recognition built in. It allows you to dictate text messages and email, rather than typing them in. This review makes it sound a little less than natural, though, with hard pauses and very deliberate speech required. Still, it beats the snot out of typing on a phone keypad, and makes it easier than to record thoughts on the run.

New Form of Handwriting?

One thing I haven’t ever posted on here at Recording Thoughts is handwriting. I don’t know how I missed it, as it is clearly an aspect of recording thoughts.

I spotted this post on Possibly Deep Thoughts that talks (via another blog, Journalisimo) about Handywrite, a new handwriting system. Take a look – it’s a pretty involved system, and I have no doubt it makes good sense. Although, many of the characters seem complex enough to defy fast & casual formation with a pen, but to be honest I haven’t tried them.

What interests me most is the idea of taking on the project of actually learning a new system. I think learning to write a different language would be easier than learning to write one’s first language in a new system.

On Voice Recognition Accuracy

This interesting post on voice recognition on The Streeb-Greebling Diaries brings up something that always irritates me a little bit. Folks are always saying that until voice recognition gets past 99% to 99.9% accuracy it is not useful. I would agree that if you’re going to try to use it to replace a keyboard this is highly desireable, if unrealistic. I say unrealistic because how often do people even type with 99.9% accuracy?

Experiment: remove the backspace key from your keyboard, and see how long you can type before your finger crashes into the empty spot.

But even so, when used with a digital voice recorder for recording thoughts on the run, even at 75% accuracy it beats the pants off of manual transcription. Sure, what you get is not polished ad-copy, but to ensure you get your notes on paper in a complete way it works quite well. It’s also a lot easier to record thoughts this way while driving, or walking a trade show or conference, or just walking down the street.

Just so we’re clear, though, if they increase the accuracy, I won’t mind 😉 The rest of Streeb’s post, which covers recent advances in the voice recognition field is interesting and worth a look (along with the links to MIT and such).