Voice still the final frontier for input.

When I caught the news about BT buying Ribbit I took notice. Why?


Because I know JP enough (podcast) to know it’s got significance for the future.
Because I know the power of voice as the primary means of communication to build relationship.
Because I believe culture creates the technology it needs to fulfill its desires.

So I wandered over to Ribbit and watched the announcement video (very clever guys).

Acquisition video : http://www.ribbit.com/video/ted/ted_jp.swf
Ribbit : http://www.ribbit.com/
BT : http://www.bt.com/

With the Ribbit purchase, it certainly seems the rest of the net seems to be latching on to the idea of ‘web enabled phone calling’ – which of course makes perfect sense. When I mentioned the acquisition to Mike he was quick to draw the comparison to Ebay’s purchase of Skype where maybe Ebay saw Skype as a way to voice-enable transactions that initiate on the auction site (even though that puts transaction before conversation).

However I want to draw a line to somewhere else, based on something I’d read from David Weinberger’s blog a week or so before, that popped immediately into my mind when thinking about the Ribbit news.

David had been lamenting the method of editing audio and wondered why we couldn’t have a method where spoken audio gets converted to text, we edit the text and then the audio gets automatically edited and reassembled according to the edited text.

Editing audio by editing text : http://snipurl.com/editingaudio  [www_hyperorg_com]

With the release of the iPhone, the pervasive success of touch pads on laptops, and the fascination of Microsoft Surface technology and the surface sphere, it seems we are well on the start of the way to touch nirvana.

iPhone : http://www.apple.com/iphone/
Microsoft Surface : http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
Sphere : http://blog.ted.com/2008/07/microsoft_surfa.php
Touch barrier : http://snipurl.com/touchbarrier  [lifekludger_net]

There remains the last bastion of successful input – voice.

Sure, speech recognition has been getting better and better, but not to the point of wide adoption and nowhere near mass market penetration. And certainly not in a way that enables easy, on the fly, sporadic input – and importantly not mobile. Even though some services like Jott are proving popular.

Jott: http://www.jott.com/

But it will come, for the same reason that touch came – because it’s natural, effective and personal and it enhances easer than most things our most basic need for connection.

So just maybe I can see that voice is on the upswing as an input method. And there’s a growing drive to develop voice to text applications. To use our voices for further augmenting our bodies seemingly insatiable need for effective, creative output.

Nothing can replace our human need for connection. And nothing connects like conversation. And for conversation, even in short form, there’s nothing quite like voice.

That’s why when a telco buys a voice software company, with JP in the mix, I take notice.

Because : http://www.itgarage.com/node/736


Image: ‘Levanta la voz’ – www.flickr.com/photos/62518311@N00/87225176

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Self-organised networks and collective productivity

Stowe Boyd has (as usual) more great expressions on network/collective productivity :

… the underlying premises of our educational system, which is to produce good little individual economic cogs. Meanwhile, the kids are turning themselves into self-organized networks where collective productivity is the central aim. …

… Meanwhile, the kids are reshaping their cognition to include non-linear, shared, and interruptive modes of thinking, …

… We move into a realm where our identity is linked to our network of contacts and our shared activities: we are increasingly defined though our relationships with others, instead of our membership in organizations, like schools, clubs, or citizenship.

This is a revolution, …

Read the lot here – The New Literacy and The Enemies Of The Future

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Miscellaneous small thoughts loosley blogged

Photo: Kamyar Adl

Some thoughts of recent, spurred on by many things.

I had been thinking about returning to more ‘stream of conscious’ blogging but hadn’t got there – so it’s about time I did.

But this might not be one of them.

It used to be people blogged heaps….then something, or some things happened.

We got Twitter.

Actually it’s not all twitters fault. It’s a combination of things. Not having a really easy and convenient method for blog input (like twitter input); A sense of thinking we need to somehow always make sense and now blogging is grown-up so too must what we write – which means longer, in-depth posts – which just means putting it off and finding other things for outlet of our cognitive surplus (ty Mr Shirky). Then we just get ‘busy’ and around we go again.

So talking on our latest podcast the other day (which I  haven’t got up at this stage, but will link when I do….no, I’m NOT keeping this in draft until then, as I would like to do, I’m getting this out) Mike and I were wondering about this blogging stuff and talking about books – one was David Weinberger’s “Everything is Miscellaneous“. And it hit me. I had noticed that David’s blog (Joho) had often had little one line or so thoughts as a post…most times with a link. Doc Searls is another good one for dropping a blog post thought on something going through his mind. While both are expertly capable in marvelous, awe inspiring pieces of writing, they also jot every little thing in their blog that hey have a thought about. And why wouldn’t they … being Cluetrain guys. … and why shouldn’t I?

The thoughts we all have are not going anywhere towards the collective cognitive bank unless we SHARE them….and unless we enable them to be scraped, crawled, spidered and indexed they remain isolated. They need to be joined with other thoughts to build snowballs … that Doc likes to roll down hills. :)

Remember in the blogosphere – and all online activity – linking is currency – and all coins, no mater how small, when collected can make great things happen.

Toss even your small coins in. I’m going to.


Dave the Lifekludger gets a mention by Mark Pesce on New Inventors

Over a month back on my Lifekludger blog I mentioned in a blog post titled “Mind control interface a near reality” the Epoc Headset, being developed by Emotiv.

The other day on the New Inventors on the ABC here in Australia my friend Mark Pesce gives a shoutoput to me. Ref 1min in.

See the snipped video below.