In the process of moving closer to the downtown core, I’ve decided to be proactive and get my address changed for snail mail before the end of the month instead of paying for a forwarding service.  Many address changes could be done online but a few I had to do the old fashioned way:  telecommunication!

Most companies use button activation, i.e. `press 1 for English`; while others have adopted an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) which is basically a voice recognition system where they ask “Tell me what you need help with” and you have to speak your response. I don’t know about you, but being in an open office environment – privacy and making phone calls do not run in the same sentence. I felt a bit foolish saying “address change” in a monotone voice instead of being able to press `1`.

This got me thinking about voice recognition software.  An interesting article came up about Google’s voice searching ability. Apparently the Google search speech recognition app has been on mobiles since Nov 2008! Where have I been!? Basically, instead of typing on a phone keypad (which sometimes poses a challenge) for a Google search, you just say it! Furthermore, the app gets integrated with iPhone’s built in GPS and shows results based on your location. Google’s voice search technology is actually being taken to the desktop computers/laptops but I’m not sure this will be as successful as the mobile. #1- there is no built-in mic on desktop computers,  #2 – sometimes what people search is just not `voice` appropriate!

I’ve also seen voice dial on mobile phones and speech recognition in a car in action.  Um.  So the question is – where else have you seen/used voice recognition!?