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Will keyboards be obsolete soon, as voice tech takes over?

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Will keyboards be obsolete soon, as voice tech takes over?

Is voice technology signalling the death of the keyboard? Consumers seem to think this legacy tech is on its way out.


I love my keyboard. Sure, I talk to Cortana on Windows 10 from time to time, and I would really struggle to write this post without clacking away on the keyboard on my laptop. But a new survey says that voice is the new media we should all adopt before its too late.


Atlanta-based voice authentication platform Pindrop recently conducted a consumer survey to find out how they interact with their devices. It conducted 4,057 online interviews in September 2018 to examine the current and future usage of voice technology, and explore its impact on people's lives.


The survey shows that almost two out of three (63 percent) of the population are already using their voice to interact with devices and appliances, and 53 percent plan to use voice even more in a year's time. 


The usage of voice control has increased, with usage at home gaining the greatest traction. Almost seven out of 10 (63 percent) use voice control at home, work, or while out and about -- only 14 percent will not use it at home.


The survey showed that over two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents plan to use voice-activated assistants for the majority of customer interactions, while nearly one-in-four businesses plan to use them for all interactions.


The data shows why there is such an appetite for voice technology. On average, 56 percent think that voice technology will have a positive impact on their work and home life, a number that jumps to 68 percent when looking at people who are already using it. 


Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents think keyboards will barely be used by 2023 as voice technology takes over. 

Two-fifths believe voice technology promises a future where using technology is less intrusive, with 41 percent believing that it will make people stop staring at their phones. 


The same number also believe their lives would be made simpler by voice, as the technology's capabilities increase over the next five years. 


In the five years, to 2023, the majority of respondents plan to use voice-activated devices and appliances to help them with cooking (63 percent), managing their home (58 percent), ordering groceries (52 percent), and organizing a holiday (52 percent). 


People are also planning to make the most of voice technologies outside of the home. Although voice has gained least traction in the workplace, usage is expected to pick up.


Over half (57 percent) plan to use it to access their workplace, while 50 percent plan to use it to operate equipment or a car while on the job. Only 1 in 5 will never use voice controls at work, yet people see potential for workplace usage. 


In the next 18 months, more than two in five expect to use voice tech to interact with a virtual PA, and operate a computer or conferencing system. And for leisure, 56 percent plan to use it to book tickets or restaurants within five years.


But as technology uptake has increased, so too have security fears. In 2017, the main issue with voice technology was its usability; but in 2018, security and privacy concerns were the number one challenge.


Indeed, when offered the chance to use their voice as a password, 44 percent would say yes, while 46 percent would say no.


The No. 1 reason given for using voice was not having to remember a password; respondents are split between the ease of use of voice, and the security challenges it presents.


Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and co-founder of Pindrop, said: 

"The last few years have seen early adopters rush to bring smart devices and speakers into their homes, normalizing a technology that was once seen with scepticism. 


Today's results prove this and also point towards a future where the way we engage with technology fundamentally shifts to a hands-free model. People can see the benefits it brings them, allowing them to simplify their lives and help battle the constant distractions handheld devices provide."




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What about gamers? Will voice tech recognize from between swearing and a command? That'll be hilarious.

And there's a lot of examples I'm too lazy to write... xD

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Such thing exists on desktop computing from more than a decade. Yes, it is not as easy and famous, but that did not replace the keyboard for everyone out there.

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Indeed. It's not black and white.


Keyboards and voice technology each have their strengths and weaknesses, and one may be better depending on the use-case.


For example, keyboard (and mouse) wins convincingly over voice tech when playing games requiring quick reflexes.


But voice tech wins equally convincingly to play media. Saying "Play Fleetwood Mac Rumours" is a lot more convenient and quicker than using a keyboard.

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4 hours ago, DKT27 said:

Such thing exists on desktop computing from more than a decade. Yes, it is not as easy and famous, but that did not replace the keyboard for everyone out there.

Back  when i  1st cane on the internet  voice tech was  a big thing almost 20 years ago  and voice chat is not even no were as big as it was back 18 years ago ,   people rather text than even talk to people  phones have been around  since 1876  and people rather text one another in 2019  with a key pad than even talk . The truth be known the generation  today are the most anti social  people ever existed in modern  times they don't like even talking to each other  there all a bunch of keyboard warriors.  so i don't see it going to  stop anytime soon .


On 4/30/2019 at 2:08 AM, teodz1984 said:

dialects still make voice recognition wonky

Yes  people can not  understand  them from one city to the next much less voice recognition  will ever be  able to process  all this and keyboards  gets around these barriers easy. Voice recognition has never been any good to begin with , so far it just a dream mostly.  1st thing for it  to be successful  it must be able to understand what people say and it's yet to be seen ..

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Keyboards will no doubt become less relevant for using computers and gadgets for the average user, but keyboards will prevail just as pencil and paper has. The only thing I imagine going away in time are mechanical variants which may get succeeded by external, multi-purpose touch pads. Right now all touch functions are embedded into displays but there can be devices separate from displays that act as keyboard, mouse, drawing pad, and possibly other functions too.

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