This article originally appeared on www.nealmcquaid.com/techblog. Neal McQuaid specialises in mobile/telecoms/trends (alongside his enthusiasm for ‘adventures’). You can find him on Twitter here or get in contact with him by email.
If the one part of the future of interacting with your smartphone – or any device – involves using voice (Siri on iOS, Google Everywhere on Android, Cortana on Windows Phone, or independent start-up apps such as SpeakToIt), then devices like the new, and incredibly small, Motorola Hint are going to help.
Following on the footsteps of well known companies such as Jawbone (and their latest Era model), Motorola is pushing it’s latest vision of the concept after announcing it alongside some updates to their handsets (Motorola Press release). Focusing largely on the user experience, there is no power button (automatically turning itself on when placed in the ear using a small sensor) and, when used with Android devices at least, always-on listening capabilities (thus giving easy access to your operating system of choice’ Voice Assistant*).
As ever, Motorola will always be pushing against social perceptions of speaking to a device or yourself (who hasn’t been caught out with seeing someone seemingly talking to themselves only to notice a headset later?), but this is a significant step in the right direction, reducing the size significantly (and impressively supplying 100 hours of standby time and 10 hours of talk-time**). Still, winning over the mainstream populace with voice interaction will take time***…..
* If anyone has seen t
he movie ‘Her‘, does this device seem familiar?
** the device also comes with a tiny carry case with built-in battery, supplying an additional two full charges.
*** Personally, it’s been a slow road to acceptance of the concept of voice interaction. However, with consistent usage in specific locations (e.g. driving and removing safety/legal issues of touching the phone) or situations (e.g. why tap multiple buttons to find someone in your address book when you can just say “Call A B C” by just lifting the phone to your ear which you will be doing anyway on the call), I’m becoming more and more a believer in the concept.