I was talking with an industry analyst today. He had gotten the BlueAnt V1 Bluetooth headset with Sensory’s BlueGenie technology, and he was very pleasantly surprised by how it was both EASIER to use yet MORE FEATURE RICH all at the same time (OK, I’ll include my favorite reviewer’s quotes below…and by the way, it’s also SAFER!).
Let me sidetrack a bit, though, before talking about the industry analyst call. The BlueAnt V1 is really a great product, and a true innovation for the speech industry. First of all it WORKS. Not only does it really work, but it’s also the smallest speech I/O system to ever ship…and it’s the first “complex” consumer product with a true voice user interface. By “complex” I mean voice is used for more than simple on/off kinds of functions (like a voice lamp). All the other voice based consumer products that have hit the market use speech as a feature. These are products like toys, cellphones, and remote controls that are designed to be held, looked at, and touched. For example, a cellphone is a multi-modal product…it has a keyboard and a display. It’s designed to be used while looking at it. A headset is totally different. It’s designed for use WITHOUT looking at it and basically without even touching it! A voice user interface is the perfect solution for Bluetooth headsets, and the BlueGenie interface is really bringing Sensory a lot of recognition (bad pun intended!).
Anyways, the analyst said “I now understand how your BlueGenie Voice Interface makes products easier to use. I don’t understand why touch technology is getting so popular instead of Voice User Interfaces”. Well he hit the nail on the head. It’s very clear that one day voice user interfaces will be everywhere, and will overtake and combine with touch for improved interfaces on products. Voice is easier and more natural and even offers the opportunity for more features without complexity. The BlueAnt V1 doesn’t even need a manual because it’s all contained within the headset!
So why aren’t voice user interfaces everywhere today??? Because speech technologies still need to improve. What Sensory has found though is that for constrained task environments like a Bluetooth headset or repetitive but complex tasks like setting time or adjusting controls on a microwave oven, a voice user interface can very much be the magic solution of today!
Don’t believe me? Go buy a BlueAnt V1 and experience for yourself the magic of a voice user interface – The BlueGenie Voice Interface. (If you have noticed that I really like that BlueAnt product, then you are absolutely right…It’s the best and most important product Sensory has made in its 15 year history!).