designboom's TECH predictions for 2017: voice and motion control
 

designboom's TECH predictions for 2017: voice and motion control

 

humanity has sent a man to the moon, but journalists across the world are still tirelessly transcribing hours of recorded content — word by word…by word. attempts at letting dictation software decipher an hour long interview, for example, are often awkward and unusable. voice recognition software just isn’t that smart yet.

 

but these #humanproblems should soon be memories of a bygone time. 2017 is prepped to be a year when the accuracy and efficiency of voice control reaches a near-human level — and gesture control is coming with it. as older generations are only just getting used to holding a smartphone, technology is rapidly transitioning towards touch-free interaction. if we’re reaching for the future, the promise of voice and motion control is out of this world.

tech predictions voice and motion control
exploride comes with in-built microphones for uninterrupted voice commands

 

 

gartner, an IT research and advisory company, reports that by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. your phones, speakers and appliances will not only be able to listen to you, but they’ll understand you too, and be able to autonomously react to your requests. today, siri tells us about the weather, or where to find a gas station nearby — but the siri of tomorrow will be able to carry out your every command, controlling the light switches in your home, operating machinery, or even driving your car — without you ever lifting a finger.

tech predictions voice and motion control
the amazon ‘echo’ can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing

 

 

take amazon’s alexa-enabled ‘echo’ smart speaker — a hands-free system you control with your voice. aside from the now-banal feature of playing music, the device can read the news, re-order your groceries, and request an uber, and all you have to do is ask. ‘echo’ has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room — even while music is playing.

tech predictions voice and motion control
‘pilot’ is an earpiece which translates between users speaking different languages
read more about the project on designboom here

 

 

2016’s extensive research in the field of voice control is sure to catalyze this leap forward in 2017. researchers at MIT have been trying to get machines to learn language in the same what that way humans do. by studying how children pick up new words, they’ve started training computers to learn new words using images, rather than audio, clues. by this time next year, we expect to see applications emerging from this kind of research that could lead to fully automated speech recognition.

 

 

 

 

speaking of learning a language…you might not have to anymore.

 

human communication comes in thousands of forms, presenting one of the largest problems for voice recognition technology. but this year, new york-based startup waverly labs reached an unprecedented $3 million USD in crowdfunding on indiegogo for its design of translating earpiece ‘pilot’. the device uses the latest technologies in speech recognition, machine translation and wearable technology to allow wearers to speak french, italian, spanish, portuguese, and english and clearly understand each other. imagine understanding everyone you encounter, in any country across the globe? with an estimated release date of may 2017, we predict ‘pilot’ will send wavelengths reverberating around the world.

tech predictions voice and motion control
in ‘her’, a man develops a relationship with an intelligent computer operating system
image courtesy of warner bros. picture © 2013 | untitled rick howard company LLC

 

 

as these machines grow inevitably more human, so does human attachment — and even attraction — towards them. who doesn’t want a companion that speaks a few languages and replies to their every command? spike jonze considered this rather surreal but unsurprising scenario for his romantic science-fiction drama ‘her’. the film follows the story of a man who develops a relationship with ‘samantha’, an intelligent computer operating system personified through a female voice.

 

could 2017 be the year your soulmate is siri? try asking alexa.

voice-and-motion-control-designboom-01
gest is a wearable that brings interaction to a whole new level

 

 

just because we’re headed towards ‘hands-free’ in 2017 doesn’t actually mean your hands will be irrelevant — get a grip! your fingers are valuable pieces of tech on their own, and companies are just beginning to understand the awesome potential of gesture control.

 

take ‘gest’ — a prototype for a wearable that lets you map hand gestures to keyboard shortcuts. change the song? flick your finger to the right. increase the volume? twist your hand. the company closed its doors earlier this year because the technology behind this gadget is relatively adolescent — and expensive. but 2017 is set be the year where these devices revolutionize the way we interact with digital interfaces. in the coming year, startups like ‘gest’ will finally have the ability to take this idea from prototype to product.

venice-architecture-biennale-greg-lynn-packard-plant-us-pavilion-microsoft-hololens-designboom-01
the technology enabled the architect to quickly analyze various design scenarios
see more about the project on designboom here

 

 

combined with other technologies, motion control will allow us to experience the world in completely new ways. for designers and architects in particular, this development presents an awesome opportunity to ‘build’ in virtual 3D and experiment with size, scale and space like never before. at the venice architecture biennale this year, architect greg lynn used technology developed by microsoft and trimble to redesign an abandoned automobile factory in detroit. lynn was able to experience his 3D models as holograms placed in the real world and interact with those hologram using gestures — moving buildings at the pinch of a finger, and extending the site with flick of the wrist. there’s going to be a tremendous number of architects and designers trying to get their hands on this technology in 2017.

voice-and-motion-control-designboom-01
he’s playing the guitar…

 

 

think about all the things you do with your hands — you write a birthday card, turn the pages of a book; play an instrument. despite our dependence on digital devices, not everything we touch is a screen…yet. so how will gesture control change the way you interact with non-digital objects? the applications are really impressive. ‘kurv’ is a stringless, digital guitar that captures your movement to control and create sound. with acoustic, electric, and bass settings, the objects senses the strumming or plucking movements just like a normal guitar and reacts to your tempo, without you needing the physical instrument in your hands.

 

the stringless guitar is just the beginning — in 2017, imagine your world with knob-less doors and switch-less lights.

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  • “researchers at MIT have been trying to get machines to learn language in the same what that way humans do.”
    Let’s hope not.

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