вторник, 12 июня 2012 г.

Why the idea of control over audio-content in mobile computers is innovative

The main goal - is to simplify human-computer interaction, bringing it to the level of inter-human communication. This would signify abandoning the approach of turning the user into computer-like creature in favour of making the computer more human-like.
At the end of the eighties a similar breakthrough occurred due to the emergence of a new concept of “user interface”, the most common of which was Microsoft Windows. Through this GUI, millions of users without special training could start using computers, as they began to perceive the computer not as a machine, understanding only special, machine instructions, but as a normal desktop with a number of instruments needed to perform usual human tasks. To date, the development of computers has been moving towards miniaturization, providing mobility and access to the Internet over wireless networks. The main idea is to provide a user with the ability to obtain necessary information at any place and at any time. But the attachment to the visual interface (GUI shells) greatly complicates the human-computer interaction due to the mobile computers’ screen limitations and the need to completely switch all the user's attention to the process of controlling the device. The emergence of a new audio interface will greatly simplify the management of mobile computers, allow the user to do other tasks simultaneously and greatly accelerate the process of providing the person with the information he or she needs. This audio interface must be included in the operating system  of primarily the mobile devices such as PDA, smart phones, and others. For this end, the standards for audio interface must be developed to facilitate its use by other programs and applications.

For a mobile computer user it is easier to receive most of the information as audio-content through headphones. Accordingly, it is more convenient to manage such information through voice commands. Tentatively, such communication with a computer can be referred to as the Question-Answer.Such system would require some new programs, let’s call them audio browser and audio search engine. These programs will allow us to search, organize and play audio files either downloaded from the Internet or stored on your computer without using the screen. Such use will be most effective if the machine is able to understand your question correctly and accurately and quickly select the desired response in the form of an audio file. This requires indexing of audio files’ content. Of course, part of the required labels can be set manually in the form of certain phrases, but for the search to be most accurate a special search engine will have to analyze audio content and set the labels automatically. This approach will not only organize audio files, but will also allow to find desired places within the files, and if necessary to create bookmarks, etc. Such system will also require a number of new applications, such as applications designed to establish the language or the music genre of the audio files.

How should  the audio content look, or rather sound like, then? Will it be formed automatically by means of special programs for creating sound out of text files? Currently, most of the audio content must be created in the recording studios by live people, who ideally, have special training and skills, since intonation plays important role in perception of auditory text. A person does not simply describe events, his intonation shows his attitude towards them. The machine can not yet express the nuances of intonation since it is devoid of emotion. It is a task for the future, perhaps the nearest, but not for today. However it is safe to entrust the machine with reading commands, table of contents, menus, brief newsletters, announcements, letters and short messages.

These additional computer capabilities will greatly simplify the communication between man and machine, expand the number of users and create new programs. They can control the flow of music, provide news programs, artistic, scientific and business literature, tutorials, games and much more. For example, it may be a navigator, which will lead you to a given point, or take you on a certain route and on the way will tell you more about local attractions. But most importantly, the audio interface will make another step towards convergence of man and machine, and this step will be directed towards the person, towards his way of life and it will be in line with his natural predispositions.

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