Thoughts on Voice-Input

I have only seen people use voice-input on their devices rarely.

Recently I have begun using Siri on my iPhone quite regularly. In the past I didn’t do it, as at best voice-recognition of commands feels rather gimmicky, and only works 90% of the time.

I started using it as a joke, saying “Siri, Shutdown” when leaving work before manually powering down my work-mac as there is no actual shutdown-voice-command (for safety-reasons, one assumes).

But there are some times when I DO use voice-commands, and which are now a preferred way of mine of doing certain things. These are:

  • Getting the time while on a bike (using my headphones to interact with the phone)
  • Setting a timer in my elevator after starting the communal washing-maschine
  • Taking a note while on a bike (using my headphones to interact with the phone)
  • Getting the dictionary-definition of a word

That’s it, mostly. Note that these are all actions which

  • Would require a non-trivial amount of button-presses
  • I do when I do not or cannot comfortably access my phone, but have headphones with a remote on
  • I do while being alone

Even when in company I would rather not use them, as I tend to speak less loudly and clear, the voice-recognition will invariably fail, and for not wanting to annoy people in my surroundings (akin to yelling “I am on the bus!” into a phone while you are on the bus).

One case I remember is me playing the game Endwar at game-design-school, whose gimmick was using voice-command to control your army. Everyone else hated it, as it meant several people speaking loudly into their headsets, annoying everyone else. People hated it even when I spoke the word “three” 14 times in a row as the system failed to recognize it (Siri cannot pick up my “three” reliably either).

It concludes that people are afraid of using voice-inputs as they are

  • Embarassing
  • Irritating to others
  • Only accurate when spoken loudly
  • Only accurate 90% of the time

Conclusion

I like using voice-commands when they save taking out my phone, would have to be done with a lot of actions, on my bike, and when I am alone.

I feel concentrating on these actions and teaching people on the possibilities would make them easier for people to understand and use, as they come with direkt, tangible benefits.

Once a baseline of feasible voice-commands is established these can move beyond the current stage and develop into things that cannot be anticipated now.

-Matthias

Why I didn’t put that project on GitHub

Github is neat! I love using it for most of my new things, and I like that my code is accessible from anywhere (assuming there is internet, which in a lot of situations I have been in it was not).

Anyhoo, here are the reasons Project X is not on there:

  • I made it just to test a feature and everything is quick and dirty
  • I made it at a hackathon/gamejam and everything is quick and dirty
  • It contains bought plugins and I do not have the rights to distribute the sources
  • I sell the project commercially
  • I am under an non-disclosure-agreement
  • It contains copyrighted placeholder-files
  • My internet-connection at home is horrendously unstable and makes using github impossible and highly irritating
  • My internet-connection at uni is unstable and makes using github difficult
  • My internet-connection at work is under suspicion after I once downloaded the 66gig Xcom2-SDK and I do not want to risk being caught
  • My internet-connection on the train where I worked was non-existant
  • I didn’t have an internet-connection in the country I was visiting
  • The cat played with the router making internet unstable
  • It contains gigabytes of music and video files, which makes uploading unfeasible
  • I may have the rights to use art in my project, but may not re-distribute it
  • A tool I am using is still on the education-license and I do not want proof of that online in the file-signatures
  • I couldn’t decide on a repo-name and after a while I got impatient and just started building it (that was before I learned you can change the name afterwards)
  • I had no plan while building it and didn’t want the haphazard history online for all to see
  • It contains code and artwork by others who haven’t agreed to make the source publicly available
  • I fucked up the git-process several times in a row and decided my energy would be better spent on the actual project
  • I used TortoiseSVN instead
  • I used a Unity asset-server instead
  • It was made before Github existed
  • It was made before I knew Github was a thing
  • It was made before I knew how to use github
  • It was made before I became confortable with using Unity with Github
  • The idea didn’t really work out
  • Real-life-issues took precedence and the project is incomplete
  • I did not know about that programming pattern you are checking for at the time I made it
  • I made it before I knew the simple way to solve a problem and now I am embarassed by it
  • I do not have time to upload an 8-year-old project
  • I do not want someone else berate me for imperfect code in an 8-year-old project

I’m sure there are more I am not thinking of right now. Many times there are several of these at the same time!

-Matthias

The MattBox!

A few months ago I created the MattBox, a snackbox where people can buy snacks.

In the office it was a huge success :)

The MattBox, here seen next to an inferior competitor

Current plan is to seek out other places to expand to, let’s see how that works out.

-Matthias

Download-links

Hey everyone,

So dropbox changed its folder-structure a few days ago. Which means all the download-links I have to my stuff are at the moment broken.

This is me saying that I am on it!

But since I have these links in 250+ places it might take some time to fix them all, I will concentrate on the importatnt pages here and the FTL-Extra-Names-Mod downloads.

 

//Update

And everything is fixed!

 

-Matthias

Playing with iOS

Lately I have been experimenting more with native iOS development. So I got my hands on a json-file of transit-data and decided to make an app out of it.

It lists all available connections, and you can inspect each connection to see details and steps in it.

It took me about 8 hours to build. You can check out the sourcecode on my github, if you want to.

-Matthias