Voice Control Is The Future, Even If You Think It’s Dumb

Some people fear change. Some people embrace change. And I suspect that for many of us it’s a mix of both, depending on the circumstances.

Despite somehow having earned a reputation as some sort of “tech guy” I can be kind of stodgy. I’m definitely not an Early Adopter. I like to see how things are playing out before I commit to new technology.

Partly I was influenced by my friend Brian, who was one of my mentors when we worked at Sony. In his words “Never buy the first generation of anything. And that goes double for anything from Sony.”

It’s funny because it’s true.

ANYWAY. This past week my wife received a thank you gift from a local homebuilder.

She also received a commission cheque, which is more important, but not relevant to this discussion.

What is relevant is that one of the things in the gift basket they gave her was a new Google Home Mini.

I’m ambivalent about voice control. I attribute that to two root causes.

The first is that I grew up pushing buttons and typing on keyboards. For people my age those are normal activities.

The other is my bad experiences with voice control.

I’ve gotten into shouting matches with my phone where I’ve yelled at SIRI for telling me no such person is in my Contacts, when THE CLEARLY ARE, or

I tell SIRI to play a certain song, and she plays something that isn’t even remotely the right song.

But do you know who’s ALL IN on voice control?

My kids.

Whether it’s asking SIRI questions on their mobile devices or talking to the Google Home unit, they’d much rather use voice control than type.

It doesn’t matter whether any of us grownups aren’t keen on voice control interfaces with technology. We’re not going to be around forever. Younger tech users are going to interface with their devices in the ways they’re comfortable with; just like we interface in the ways we’re comfortable.

I guess I’m okay with that.