4 Responses

  1. Emmett Coin
    Emmett Coin April 2, 2009 at 9:25 am |

    The question is not if voice apps are distracting but WHAT about using voice in the car is distracting. Counter intuitively, simpler limited command systems can impose heavier cognitive loads. (#@&*!??? what was that command?)

    Why is talking to a person next to you in the car so different? Partly because you are not forced to use an arbitrary and small vocabulary. Years later, I still say to my cell’s voice dialer “Call Chris at the office” when it can only understand “Call Chris at work”. I make the mistake most dialing “hands free” while driving.

    Another, and very BIG issue is that today’s voice apps are not really “there with you”. (see http://ejtalk.com/wordpress/?p=10)

    As an after thought, let’s not forget that there are just a lot of voice interfaces that are just … well … after thoughts.

  2. anonymous
    anonymous April 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm |

    I wrote those analysis of those studies b/c the preponderance of articles that came out when the study results were released proclaimed things like “Nuance says that speech rec in the car is safe!”.

    It’s not.

    We’re getting to a point where embedded speech rec can accommodate larger grammars, but there’s still a pretty long lag between when new technology is developed and when it’s deployed in hardware. For an automobile, it can be up to 5 years.

    I agree with Emmett’s analysis, BTW.

    I prefer to remain anonymous because I used to work at Nuance.

  3. anonymous
    anonymous April 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm |

    Hi Eric,

    A limited command set could impose a larger cognitive load on the user, as they will have to remember the exact syntax / command structure that they would need to use for the application. If it’s for features that they don’t use that often, I would expect that the cognitive load would be higher.

    Here’s a Wired article discussing your point about conversations w/ a person in-car vs on the phone.

    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/12/new-study-confi.html

    I would expect that a speech app would have more characteristics of a phone conversation vs an in-car one. That is, unless the automation gets hooked up to the sensors in the car to be able to detect sudden braking or something like that to shut it up in an emergency. Of course, that brings up other issues.

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