Why the finger is mightier than the voice

I have a real problem with the current fad for controlling technology with your voice. My issues are on two fronts, technical failure and what I’ll call douchbaggery or the likelihood you will try and instruct your phone to do something in an inappropriate place.

Bear with me.

The QWERTY keyboard was popularised by Remmington in 1893, which makes it 130 years old this year. So Happy Birthday QWERTY. The keys were laid out to avoid manual typewriters from jamming and has served us well in both the mechanical and electronic age. The greatest advantage has always been that the input is largely incorruptible. Hit the A key on a computer keyboard or typewriter and the result on screen or paper is A. In short it does what you ask it to. The only week point is the operator.

So if you mistype the only person to blame is youself.

Assuming you can type reasonably well, the accuracy is 100%. Now consider the modern trend of voice activation. If you get 70% success using your voice on your phone I would be surprised. But more importantly even a 10% failure rate renders voice untrustworthy and so, virtually useless. Imagine if your oven wouldn’t work one day in ten, or your car, TV or broadband. You’d send them back faster than Gordon Ramsey in a Harvester.

The truth is that voice activation simply isn’t reliable enough to be useful. Let’s be honest, how often do you use Siri or Google Now to search or dictate and if you do how reliable is it really?

My second issue is douchbaggery. Imagine a world in which we are all instructing our mobile phones to do things like conducting searches or dictating emails. It would be hideous

Scene: Passengers on a train

“text my mistress…hello darling last night was wonderful your **** is like a **** and I want to **** you every seven minutes”

“Play Coppacabana”

“What is the weather now where I am”…because I’m just too lazy to look our of the window

“Search for Page Three girls 1984-87”

“Open Facebook……Got really pissed ay Kathy’s party. Dave is such a bastard…attach puking photo 1…2…and 3”

The possibilities are both endless and horrific.

So, let’s keep the keyboard, it’s accurate, silent and familiar. Until they come up with mind control I think QWERTY has the edge.

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