Mobile phones are powerful pieces of technology, and they’ve only reached a fraction of their true potential. Some phones today are faster than computers we used only a few years ago. The trend at the moment is moving from single core to dual core, going up to 1 GHz with more RAM. Even though technology is developing very rapidly, we’re seeing some issues in one of the areas with the fastest growth: voice recognition. Once we move past these issues, the capabilities of mobile phones will exceed the wildest imagination.
In addition to Apple and Google, we know a number of smaller companies working on voice recognition and text to speech technology. In order to bring these two technologies to a global audience though, the challenges of different languages and different accents must be addressed. This issue reminds us of an old Clint Eastwood movie, Firefox, where the Soviets had a plane that was controlled by the thoughts of the pilot. To operate the plane, the Clint Eastwood character had to be able to think in Russian rather than English. This movie came out in 1982, but the problem is one we still face today with voice recognition. Some of the early testing we’ve done with French, Italian and a few other languages revealed issues with translation, but the technology will get there. Once it does, there won’t be a need for large screens. Voice recognition and text to speech will allow phones to be a lot smaller in the next two or three years.
Even more exciting, once today’s technologies are brought together, the mobile phone may be able to sense and interpret your brain waves. Some of the recent research we looked at showed that monkeys are able to control robotic arms based on a technology that can sense what a monkey is thinking about. When the monkey wanted to eat a banana, he controlled the robotic arm to reach for a banana and peel it open simply by thinking about it. We already have our phones on us all the time. Imagine the possibilities when that phone can sense what you’re thinking and knows what’s happening around you.
With a phone that’s always listening and taking action through your speech, brain waves, body temperature and other inputs, the mobile device becomes a super-assistant. Voice recognition acts on keyword recognition. It’s designed to recognize particular buzzwords like “Mom,” with an action, like “send flowers.” Your mobile phone super-assistant will speak into your ear, reading documents or emails, while sensing when there’s a turn coming up. Right now Siri can do certain tasks, but in the future it will be able to guide and help you to do many more things, some of which we have yet to imagine.
Someday, your phone may even save your life by detecting a significant change in your body temperature or heart rate. For example, the phone could sense heart fibrillations and blood pressure fluctuations for cardiac patients. It may also be able to transfer medical data to hospitals and physicians. Phones could monitor blood sugar and blood oxygen levels, which could be life saving.
In another time, these ideas were the stuff of science fiction, but they’ll soon be reality. The mobile industry is the one to watch for enterprise applications. There is already a huge stream of add-in options coming. To be working on these projects today gives Vensi a huge edge. We’re very happy to be in this space.