Friday, December 08, 2006

One small step closer to the future...

Last November (or was it December), when I got my new cell phone after switching to Bell (which has been a far better experience than Rogers. Grr...Rogers), I decided to try the 'voice tag' feature.

The purpose of this feature is you don't have to remember a person's number, and you don't even have to scroll through to find their name. You just have to speak their name.

The catch, of course, is knowing how to activate the thing that lets you use this feature. Obviously, it's not going to call my grandmother every time I say her name within earshot of my cellphone's microphone.

Last November, the only way I could figure out how to do this was by pressing and holding the "send" button, while the keyboard was unlocked. At that point, I figured it would be just as easy to use the one-touch dialing, the scrolling method, or old-fashioned dialing the digits.

I was bored a couple of weeks back, and discovered that if I were to press and hold the button on my handsfree headset, which sits on or near my ear for most hours of the day, I could activate this feature. It was quite a pleasant surprise. I spent the following hour or so recording as many voice tags as my phone could handle (to be honest, 20 isn't enough), when I probably had an essay to write or something. Actually, I have a couple things I need to write right now...

The next day, while riding my bike, I took advantage of the ability to call people without digging under my many layers of jacket and sweater to pull my cell phone out of my belt-pouch. I also called Bell, because I knew I'd be making more outgoing calls during the day with this handy-dandy feature.

Here's how it works: with my cell phone's keypad still locked, I just need to press and hold the button on my headset for a few seconds, wait for a sound, then speak the tag. It then finds the matching tag, replays it to confirm that it's dialing who I want it to dial, and it dials.

I liken it to the communicators from Star Trek. No, not those awkward handsets from TOS, but the two-taps-and-tell-me-who-to-call version from the later series.

Note to self: do a very close analysis of my phone usage on my next phone bill. Methinks I will be talking a lot more now.

- RG>


Unknown said...

oh, you're a writer. No wonder you write so well. Duh. You even made that story about your voice activated cell phone interesting.

RealGrouchy said...

Here's my trick: Pretend a TV news correspondent is reading it off of a teleprompter (I personally like Stephen Colbert's style when he was on the Daily Show).

If it sounds like something they would say, then it works.

Sometimes, when I'm on TV, I sorta get into the Stephen Colbert mindset (in terms of tone, phrasing, etc.) and forget that I'm the one being interviewed.

Usually when I'm doing a live interview for radio, it's early in the morning. When I'm groggy, my voice is a sexy baritone.

But in all cases, I try to wrap things up at the end [e.g. this paragraph]. I'll usually go over it once more to ensure that what I've said is consistent. That way, when the reader is finished, they feel like they got a complete package.

After all, why write something but for an audience?

- RG>

Unknown said...

That's a good tip, I'll try that. If I'm writing a paper, I'll usually get lost in the point I'm trying to prove. Like a dumb paradox that I feel obligated to say because of the incredibly idiotic topic that they force us to write about. Or,of course, the horrible offbeat humor that's only funny when thoroly explained by me, or when it's slipped in at the perfect moment in everyday conversation. I get a good grade, but if I had left that one thing out I would have gotten a better one. I lose sight of what my ultimate purpose is in that class: to get a good grade.