It’s a question that was raised after reading an article on Wired which focused on the evolution of how people communicate using technology. In one instance the article refers to how annoying it was when the Bluetooth head set came out and the “Blue Douche” phenomenon was born.
This was when people would be sitting alone in restaurants but talking so loudly into their headsets that it aggravated everyone near them. Fortunately the “Blue Douche” problem quickly faded and was replaced with people staring into their phones typing furiously, it may have looked awkward but at least they weren’t interrupting anyone – a fact that we were most grateful for.
But as technology improves it would seem that once again we will see people speaking out loud to their smart phones as people become more reliant on applications such as Siri and Google Now. However this time thanks to better microphones with noise-cancellation advancements we can now talk to our devices without having to scream. Moore’s law predicts that technology (and in this case Microphones) will keep getting better and smarter and new research is also changing the way in which we talk to our devices, new technologies such as Sub-vocalization.
Have you ever caught yourself mouthing the words while reading a book?
That’s sub-vocalization, it’s when you form words without saying them aloud. In 2004, NASA ran a study and discovered that “small, button-sized sensors, stuck under the chin and on either side of the “Adam’s apple,” could gather nerve signals, and send them to a processor and then to a computer program that translates them into words.” Their goal, they said, was to use sub-vocal communication “in spacesuits, in noisy places like airport towers to capture air-traffic controller commands, or even in traditional voice-recognition programs to increase accuracy.”
In the near future talking to your computer won’t involve talking out loud at all.
While not having to type or speak when trying to Google something is possibly the height of convenience in today’s busy life style, could you imagine the implications of this on social media?
For example, how often have you read someone’s post on Facebook that had so many spelling errors in it that you sat back (after reading it another time to try make sense of it) and said “You should really sue your high school for taking your money and not teaching you English” or have you ever thought of recommending the person a book, something like the English dictionary for instance?
If sub-vocalization becomes a reality then what you just said to yourself could potentially be posted in reply to the persons post as we speak – It’s a funny prospect but at the same time a potentially problematic one.
Social media will never be as annoying as people with Bluetooth headsets used to be, at least not for the couple sitting at the table in the restaurant next to you but, the saying “think before you speak” could have a vastly different meaning in the near future which, in our view is food for thought if there ever was any.
We welcome your thoughts on the advancement technology and any other questions you may have but until sub-vocalization becomes a reality, you would need to contact us here or on any of our social media platforms below.