I’m on a computer all day at work and 3 or 4 hours in the evening after that. It’s practically my second wife (of which my wife, Heidi, will strongly agree with the amount of time I spend on it sometimes). One of the interesting things about computers so far is that they keep getting better – both with the software available on them, and the computer’s processing power.
Where Things Have Come From
To see the future of the computer, one need only look at the past. My first experience with computers was in Kindergarten. My father brought to the class a large portable Compaq computer that looked like the one you see here. I was enamored with a game my dad showed the class of a man with the briefcase going and getting floppy disks. So what if there was only two colors in the game, black and white. I was hooked – and this was nearly 30 years ago.
Computers have come a long way since the large clunky portable Compaq computer my dad showed me. There is even a much longer history before my birth in 1977, but I’ll keep the history simple to just my lifetime. What is important is what and how much has changed and why this matters to you, especially if you are an online/technological entrepreneur. Our computers have high resolution pictures, videos, documents, increasingly better software programs and more. The first thing I’ll talk about is what is exciting as an online blogger with increased computer power.
Speech Recognition for Blogging and Podcasts
There’s two important improvements in computers that are worth looking at, especially if you are an online blogger and love technology (or even if you hate technology but don’t mind using it, that counts too). 30 years ago, computers were large, clunky, and the Internet was not widely available yet. It’s different now. Computers have the power and software to do some amazing things! The first is the ability to turn your blog posts into podcasts. The second is the ability to turn your podcasts into blog posts. On the surface this might seem interesting but not particularly exciting – until you consider another variable – time.
Time is our most precious resource due to the fact that each one of us is facing an undefeated father time who no human has bested so far. Even with grand futurist dreams of living forever, I have to accept that nobody has beaten death yet. Until this starts happening regularly, time is oh so precious. I have a commute to a day job that takes about 20 minutes each day. When I see the power of computers and speech recognition, I see gold here. I can dictate my blog posts to my smart phone and then turn that dictation into text to post online. This means I save 40 minutes that I can then spend with my family instead of barricading myself in my office typing a blog post.
Efficient use of time becomes more critical as we get older, if we value our time. To this end, I’m going to start using Kevin’s Easy Voice Recorder to start recording my blog posts during my commute to work and then using speech recognition software on them to make them text. I’m sure there will be some time to edit them and put in pictures and links, but the bulk of the work will be done with the ideas and thoughts that go into it through using my voice. I am still shopping around for the right speech recognition program as there are several options to choose from. One current possible solution is an app and Google Chrome extension called iSpeak.
As the world becomes more connected, language barriers are starting to become a thing of the past with increased ability of computers and software to interpret language. Speech recognition in the future will allow us to speak to others in their language. It’s starting to happen already and it will only improve. Hello Universal Translator (Star Trek). As a blogger, this is exciting because I will have greater ability to reach others who don’t speak my language. Watch this video below of someone speaking English and having text and speech done in Chinese.
Making Use of Future Enhancements
Computers of the past were simply large boxes that our family fought over to use. The computer is changing. There’s iPhones, iPads, and the new Google Glass to name a few. There’s all these devices and that means we have both more options and more complexity in how we use computers today. No longer is a computer simply a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. There’s touch screens and millions of apps to choose from for how you use your device. Here’s why this is exciting.
The continuing improvement of computers makes it easier to do cool things, such as deliver video, live experiences, and indeed (like I’m doing now with my Real Time Calculator), create your own applications for others to use. As a technologist and entrepreneur, this is exciting. I can deliver more personalized content to others beyond just typing a blog post like I am doing right now. For instance, when Google Glass comes out, I can strap on the Google Glass, deliver a podcast while taking video and then upload that video with the podcast and use speech recognition to create an article. This creates a seamless experience for my readers.
Bloggers aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of computing improvements. Live streaming is also another area which has recently popped up online. For instance, using a service like uStream or TwitchTV, one can stream live content from their computer or web cam for others to see. In the gaming industry, this is proving to be a valid business model as there are many who are willing to watch pro gamers excel at games they are familiar with. For instance, a popular World of Warcraft player who goes by the name “Kungen” on KungenTV has thousands of viewers watching his content whenever he is live streaming.
The technology isn’t quite there yet in terms of quality of live video streaming. It’s not like a television where everything is seamless. But it is getting there and in the future, I think live streaming through web cams or a device like Google Glass will provide an experience at the quality level of HD TV. I think the market also demands this. Reading great content is one thing. But providing a visual experience and video/podcasting really enhances the value brought and not many bloggers are doing this… yet.
As a futurist, I’m just a predictor of the future. I don’t know specifically what will happen. But I stay current with the news and trends going on and can make my best educated guess about where I think things are going and then prepare myself to make use of the technologies of the future. There’s so much information available on the Internet that it is really easy to do this.
What about computers is most exciting to you? Was there anything here that you didn’t know about?
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