Talking tech since 2003

We are about to make a big computing leap — soon our devices will be “always on.”  I don’t mean that in the literal sense of your computer or smartphone being powered on, but rather, in the sense that it will be listening, waiting for you to need something from it — like making a phone call, scheduling an appointment, or getting directions — you will be able to do all of that and more without having to touch the device at all.  That future that I just described is practically already here.

The introduction of the Moto X last week confirmed the “always on” feature, which means that the microphone on the Moto X is constantly listening for its owners voice so it can execute any number of commands.  This feature seems super cool and I think is something that is going to be a huge moving forward in the mobile and wearable computing space. However, while I may think this is awesome — it seems like others may disagree.

I don’t have any specific numbers regarding the number of people against such a feature, but I can totally see it being controversial.  A device that listens to everything going on around it — even if it only responds to the voice of the owner — is totally something some people would be weary of.  How will people react or behave knowing there is a possibility that someone’s smartphone is listening?  Now, granted there’s a difference listening and recording — but still, will people request that others turn off their Moto X before speaking with them?  I don’t know.  I do know that some bars have banned Google Glass, so it wouldn’t be unthinkable that someone would make such a request.

Personally, I think anyone who is that paranoid about having a device listening to them either has something to hide or doesn’t “get it.”  Nonetheless, despite concerns of some people, it doesn’t seem like this trend is going to slow down.

Google Glass is also “always on,” waiting for the owner to say, “Ok, Glass,” and issue a command.  Future Android smartphones will likely receive the always on functionality we are seeing in the latest Moto X and Droid smartphones.  I’d be shocked if Apple didn’t evolve Siri in the same way on its next generation iPhone and iPad.  We want technology to be faster, more useful, and efficient.  We want features that make our lives easier.

For me, speaking commands is faster, and more efficient than having to type things out (due to voice recognition technology being so advanced these days).  This is especially true if you are otherwise preoccupied with things such as driving or trying to walk down the street in NYC (without having to keep looking up from your phone).

Welcome to the “always on” future.  How do you feel about it?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

[Image credit: The Verge]


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