Posted by Rob Golledge (Head of Marketing Communications, Amadeus UK & Ireland)
I pity the recipients of emails sent using my Samsung Galaxy S3. And I’m not the only one judging by the number of ‘typos likely’ disclaimers that people append to communications sent from their handheld device. Don’t get me wrong, the Galaxy S3 is a neat piece of kit. But thanks to the predictive text feature, my emails are about as intelligible as an Enigma code from the Secret Service in Bletchley Park. I could waste my day proofreading and correcting everything, but life’s just too short. It’s a wonder I still have a job!
I’m not a big fan of predictive texting at the best of times. In my experience it is about as accurate as the meteorological office predictions for a British BBQ summer! But I know what the manufacture would say. They’d describe the situation as PICNIC (Problem In Chair Not In Computer).
I don’t know who programmed the predictive text capabilities of my smartphone, but judging by the results, it seems they are fluent in Klingon! Sadly, it isn’t a language I understand. Not in the way that I know say 50 French words like croissant and Camembert and can pretend that I’m bilingual.
The problem it seems is anatomical. It’s my fingers. They’re too fat apparently. It makes me feel like Shrek, who was ridiculed for his ‘fat green sausage fingers’. The fact that I used to study classical music and play the piano obviously means nothing. My fat finger syndrome has finally been exposed to the world and now my smartphone is advertising it to everyone in my address book.
Who needs correct spelling anyway? If you’re a native English speaker yuo’ll hvae no porbelm radenig tihs txet bceusae as lnog as the frsit and lsat lteters are crrocet yuo’ll be albe to udnretansd it.
Let’s just bypass this frustrating, time consuming screen tapping business – curse you tiny virtual keyboards! Let’s get verbal instead. Speech recognition is the solution for the dexterously-impaired like me and half the planet. I have been impressed with Google Voice Search. I’m not sure how it would cope if I tried to use it in the noisy hubbub of London. But if I enunciate carefully, it delivers an impressive hit rate (definition: gets it right first time). Which is more than I can say when trying to write a 5-line email that takes half an hour while trying to spot all the ibids (in place of the word ‘in’) and obviously (in place of ‘on’) all signed by Rod, Roy or Ron – whoever he is.
Because I still speak with a hint of an Australian accent (after having grown up there) I suppose it is only a matter of time before Google starts talking back to me in faux Australiana with comments like: “Strewth mate! What are you going on about?” But until that day, I will keep my fat fingers in my pockets. My prediction? Voice recognition technology is going to be big in the next few years – if me and my fat fingered friends have any say in the matter.
This article was first published on Viva Aspire here http://viva-aspire.com/blog/2012/12/predict-this