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I still dream of Organon

Who uses voice control?

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by June 15, 2016 Personal

Voice control (Siri, Google Now, Amazon Echo, etc.) is not a very useful feature to me, and wonder if I’m in the minority.

Why it is not useful:

  • I live with other people.
    • Sometimes one of the people I live with or myself may be sleeping. If someone speaks out loud to the TV or phone, that might wake the other up.
    • Even when everyone is awake, that doesn’t mean we are together. It annoys me when someone talks to the TV while watching basketball. I don’t want to find out how annoying it would be to listen to someone in another room tell the TV or their phone what to do.
  • I work with other people.
    • If I’m having lunch, and a co-worker wants to look something up on his/her phone, I don’t want to hear them speak their queries out loud. I actually have coworkers that use their phones as boomboxes to listen to music while eating lunch, as if no-one else can hear it, or everyone has the same taste in music, or everyone wants to listen to music at all during lunch.

The only times I use Siri are:

  • When I am in the car.
  • When I am speaking with others in a social setting, like a pub, and we want to look something up pertaining to the conversation.
  • When I’m alone

When I saw Apple introduce tvOS, the dependence on Siri turned me off from upgrading my Apple TV.

Am I in the minority here?

I get the feeling I’m not. I cannot recall anyone I know using Siri for other anything than entertainment with friends. Controlling devices with your voice in public must be Larry David’s worst nightmare.

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One commentcomments3

  1. No, I don’t think you’re in the minority… the only time I’ve ever seen it used, other than trialing a new phone, was in a car where you need the hands-free functions. Anywhere else, it’s either too annoying to others, or just not useful enough.

    Interesting that you’d use it in a social setting like a pub. In my experience, the background noise in the average pub is just too high for the software to cope… when humans are struggling to clearly hear what each other are saying, the average voice recognition doesn’t have a chance…

  2. No, you’re not completely alone, but I am also against having an open mic wired to a company that has every reason to continually listen to you in order to “provide a richer experience” by selling your behavior.

  3. Simon, the pub use-case goes like this: Watching/discussing sports with friends, sometimes we’re not sure if the information we have is correct.
    “Wasn’t he the goalie for the New York Islanders, when they one the cup in 1980?”
    “I don’t think so.”
    “Hey Siri, who was the goalie for the New York Islanders in 1980?”

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