A future generation of smartphones may have no screen at all and rely entirely on voice recognition, according to Scott Huffman, senior engineering director at Google.
In an interview with the Guardian, Huffman said there had been a dramatic growth of voice search and recognition tools and the ability to encrypt audio data to the same standard as text-based information made this move innovation possible.
“We are looking to a future where we have a whole variety of devices,” he said. “We have a super computer in our pockets, but also one in our watch, one in our glasses, maybe on our lapel as well as our laptop. Some of those have a screen and a keyboard but some won’t, and we’re seeing dramatic growth in the numbers of people interacting through voice recognition.”
There are already some voice recognition tools on Google’s Android devices, but it is thought only around 3 per cent of users make use of those functions.
“It’s a cultural thing, getting used to a technology like this, but there will be a whole set of devices built around it,” Huffman said. “Two to three years ago we crossed the line from a demo to a real product, so now at least most of the time it can understand what I say. We’re still work on the recognition of accents, and there are a litany of problems. But when it works, it is magic.”