Ever since Dragon Naturally Speaking first came out, I have been trying to find real answers to the dream of touch free computing. It hasn't happened yet. As sophisticated and complex as the voice command programs have gotten since the early days, they still can't understand me. I seem to speak clearly enough for most people (even those from other countries) to understand me, but these gadgets with voice command features almost always 'hear' me wrong. By the time I slowly and oh so frustratingly carefully articulate even the simplest dictation or command to these things so that they can understand and do anything, I've gotten so mad I can barely remember what I was going to do after I succeeded in getting the @#$%^&* thing to do that one thing. It's less trouble and bother to just hit a button or type something with my fingers. I even had a cell phone recently that boasted voice activated dialing and other commands (came 'free' with my cell phone carrier contract). But I wound up taking it back to the carrier and having them disable the voice commands. I got sick of hearing it guess wrong or even sometimes telling me to 'say a command' again after I already had. I could say "call Bill" (or whomever) as carefully and clearly as I humanly can, for example and still have it say "Did you say 'call Bob?' (or someother name that isn't even close to what I said. They said that voice commands would be the answer to reducing distraction while driving and trying to use a cell phone, but I think it actually made it worse. Some days, it was like I was having an arguement with the dumb phone! I find it less distracting to put the phone in a dashboard mounted cradle (every phone should just come boxed with one) and hitting buttons when I'm stopped at lights and such to dial out. My phone still has buttons bigger than a tictac (a requirement I made of the surprised clerk at the cell phone store when I got my latest phone) so it's really no more difficult nor distracting to hit buttons on it in the car than it is to change the station on my radio. For incoming calls, I have it set to auto answer so I can take them while driving. That is no more distracting than having a talkative passenger.
They are trying to ban cell phone use, period, in cars where I live. They passed a local law about it lately, but I haven't seen anyone obeying it. It's not necessary. All people need is a good docking station or cradle on their dashboard and a speakerphone setting on the phone that is easy to turn on, or one of those bluetooth type things in their ear. What are the nanny state bureaucrats going to ban next? GPS devices? Talk about distracting! I hate those things. They are like electric back-seat drivers Car radios? Eating or drinking in the car? Talking to each other in the car?
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