Tripping across the web over the weekend, I stumbled across a gem of an application, and a true harbinger of things to come.
Springdoo.com describes itself as -a free service that lets you talk your emails. Anyone can now easily send talking emails in their own voice, without typing. You can Springdoo using your computer and a microphone, or any telephone." The offer was irresistible, so I tried it, and it works a treat. And the implications are huge, obviously, for those without keyboard skills, or simply wishing to send a more personalised message.
Having set up your Springdoo account, a very simple process, you record your message using its online tool. At the end of recording, it is copied to your clipboard. Then, hey presto, you simply paste it into your email and send.
Immediate applications obviously benefit the unsighted, old people lacking keyboard dexterity (although it's not so good if their recipients are hard of hearing, of course), and lovers wishing to say something more than text ever can. And consider the possibilities for voice-email incrimination in corporate misdeeds brought before the beak. How about broken office romances and stalking allegations, all of which will inevitably follow.
But, I believe, if Springdoo gets its innovation out by way of licence to operators of third party sites, this simple idea could be an epoch-making breakthrough.
The fact that help guides for many applications are now delivered by blogs and wikis would enable engineers quickly to adapt their support regimes to address the real, emerging concerns of new users. Even when they can't write it so well, the least literate of engineers can speak their own language perfectly.
It hands the power back to the people that actually designed and built the software in the first place.
And what about the opportunity for giving consumers the audio walk around of online photo collections? Or cataloguing for small business delivered with a truly personal touch?
The applications are endless, but it's the social implication of the technology that's truly fascinating.