CNET's Next Big Thing at CES 2016: Is typing dead? | CNET

CNET's Next Big Thing at CES 2016: Is typing dead?

From Siri to Cortana, Google Now to Amazon's Alexa, voice recognition is the new normal. Does that mean the keyboard is an endangered species?

  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:52:43 PM
    Nuance's Sejnoha disagrees with that, arguing that increasingly speech recognition is getting better at actually perceiving intent, a high hurdle that would make speech a much more effective form of control than MIT's Maes seems to be positing.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:53:19 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:54:07 PM
    BMW's Behrendt wants to enter this conversation about the possible reach of voice control.
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:54:16 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:54:49 PM
    Voice "is part of the orchestra of communicating," says Behrendt. The other pieces of that orchestra are gesture, he adds.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:55:20 PM
    Brian Cooley says, "I've never set the temperature in a car with my voice."
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:56:48 PM
    Sejnoha of Nuance: What you see today is very good, he says, but it's still "pre-history."
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:57:11 PM
    Brian Cooley: When does voice figure out who to listen to in a room full of voices?
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:57:15 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:57:35 PM
    It's coming soon, says Nuance's Sejnoha.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:57:58 PM
    Hey Siri, asks Tim Stevens, what do you think about gesture control?
  • James Martin 1/6/2016 11:58:07 PM
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:58:14 PM
    Siri is not a fan, it appears.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:58:40 PM
    Tim Stevens demonstrating how in modern cars you can dismiss a phone call with a swipe of the hand.
  • max.taves 1/6/2016 11:59:13 PM
    What's holding back gesture control? Or has its time already passed? Those are the questions for panelists now.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:00:12 AM
    MIT's Maes: We'll start seeing skin input and projection mirrors on our arms to increase interaction surfaces.
  • James Martin 1/7/2016 12:00:16 AM
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:00:46 AM
    MIT's Maes says tech is developing toward understanding the intentions underlying human gestures.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:01:03 AM
    "Increasingly, our devices will start looking at human gestures and interpreting them," says Maes.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:01:41 AM
    "My devices could learn" about my preferences or intentions by merely holding it, she says.
  • James Martin 1/7/2016 12:01:52 AM
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:02:42 AM
    Nuance's Sejnoha: "One thing we have to overcome is that gestures will have to be taught and learned because unlike with language ... devices will not understand what gestures you're making right now."
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:03:06 AM
    MIT's Maes: Well, some gestures are natural and don't have to be learned like pointing.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:03:28 AM
    Maes: However, other gestures like pointing to turn down the volume do have to be learned.
  • James Martin 1/7/2016 12:04:06 AM
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:04:20 AM
    Gesture is communication enhancement, says BMW's Behrendt, who adds that gestures are also culturally based. Some gestures in Germany might be offensive in other counties, he says.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:04:55 AM
    "Leave it to the driver to choose what (gestures) he likes best," says Behrendt.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:05:38 AM
    Stanford's Ju says gestures can be a "traffic signal for speech." Some gestures, she says, are natural used cross-culturally.
  • James Martin 1/7/2016 12:06:15 AM
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:06:57 AM
    Ju: We did some experiments with automatic doors, finding that doors were more engaging if they paused before opening.
  • James Martin 1/7/2016 12:07:03 AM
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:07:18 AM
    People don't think their walking can be communicative until automatic doors stop working.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:09:23 AM
    Any human-computer interaction system has to holistic, taking into considering voice and gesture, argues Nuance's Sejnoha.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:10:26 AM
    "Our cars drive around the world... We can show that when cars stand still people like to touch. When they move, they like to talk," says BMW's Behrendt.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:10:41 AM
    You guys didn't even introduce a touchscreen until last year, says Cooley to BMW.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:11:05 AM
    Siri, you're not big news anymore. What's next, asks Cooley?
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:11:19 AM
    Siri said he must be an Android user.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:12:10 AM
    Moving beyond gestures now...
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:12:43 AM
    Brian Cooley: This is getting a little farther into the future. Are we too far off to expect gaze to be a realistic form of control?
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:13:11 AM
    MIT's Maes: No. It can become very effective. It simplifies things if you can use it as an input.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:13:23 AM
    Tim Stevens: Are our mobile devices even good enough to perceive gaze?
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:14:00 AM
    Maes says augmented-reality devices are starting to show they could be.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:14:35 AM
    We've seen gaze in cars for things like drowsiness detection but is gaze still an infant or a teenage? asks Cooley.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:15:05 AM
    BMW 's Behrendt says the tech is still a teenager but the German auto giant is looking "very closely" at gaze.
  • max.taves 1/7/2016 12:15:21 AM
    Again, it's part of the orchestra, he says.
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