I want fewer gestures and more voice controls for my phoneEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Eventually, and it could be a day sooner rather than later, we're going to get to a point where we don't actually see the improvements our new phones offer us. Our new phones, with the "fastest processor" or whatever else are just going to reach a point where they're too good, and we're no longer going to actually see any discernible difference. For some people, on some platforms, we may already be at that point.
We're not there for everyone yet, though, and it could still be a little ways off. Or it could be right around the corner. Qualcomm already has a brand new, even more powerful processor rumored to debut in phones as early as the middle of the year in 2014.
That's why software features are going to be so important.
Right now, the vocal internet has a love affair with the hardware that gets shoved into our phones, or tablets, or any other gadget for that matter. We love to see what they look like when they get torn apart, and we love to hear how many gigabytes are in that next device coming down the pipe. Oh, there's a super-powerful processor, too? Tell us all about that!
I'm not sure that will ever go away at this point, as we've become a society focused on the physical specs, but I do believe at some point it will quiet down. And when that happens, it's going to shift. It won't disappear, because we need something to focus on and demand more from. Our voices will start lifting software features up, even more so than we already do, and the companies will listen.
Some companies already got ahead of the curve, mind you. Samsung loves software features, and they shove a metric ton of them into their flagship (and non-flagship) devices. Unfortunately, it may have been too early, as we hear that "gimmick" word tossed around quite frequently during and after a Samsung announcement.
Other companies will follow suit. Indeed, it's been rumored (and now confirmed) for quite some time that Apple would buy a company called PrimeSense, which could give them plenty of new ideas to work with when it comes to the iPhone or iPad. They created the Kinect 3D sensor, the original one for the Xbox 360, and now they could very well start making things for the Cupertino-based company.
It's a move that's both unexpected and perfectly expected all at the same time. It's expected because, as I said, it's been rumors more than a few times, and "confirmed" even more in between. But, it's also unexpected because there had been rumors that Microsoft was planning on bringing the Kinect sensor into their Windows Phone-based devices, dating back before Windows Phone 8 launched.
Back then, I thought it would be pretty cool to see how the Kinect sensor could be implemented into our phones, with a combination of gestures and voice controls, but now I'm just wondering if it's something that our phones need. Even in the future. Sure, things will be very different in the marketplace whenever Apple takes advantage of PrimeSense's skill set, but even then I'm not sure I want more air gestures to control my phone.
Samsung's had air gestures for certain aspects of their devices for a little while now, and I'm just not sold on it. Even if the sensor was more advanced, and better all around, I'm not sure I'd ever want to just wave at my phone to have something done. Touching the screen doesn't scare me, and would take the same amount of time.
But voice controls? Yeah, I'm on board that idea. Just like with LG's rumored always-present voice controls for their handsets earlier this year, I think it would be pretty great if Apple implemented that kind of idea into their iDevices. Especially because they could make it easier to activate Siri, and get their digital personal assistant to start helping even faster.
Motorola and Google are working hard on creating devices that you can control almost explicitly with your voice, and I think that's something that will catch on with the other companies. With Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense, they're moving in the right direction --with the right company along for the ride-- to really stand out in that feature-set against the competition.
What do you think? Would you prefer gesture controls for your phone, or would you rather use your voice to control your handset? Or neither one of those options, and you'd much rather just touch your phone? Let me know!
front image via Business Insider