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Tech it to the next level

Tech it to the next level
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First Published: Sun, Jan 31 2010. 10 24 PM IST

Beyond words: Text-speech and speech-text could get a big boost this year.
Beyond words: Text-speech and speech-text could get a big boost this year.
Updated: Sun, Jan 31 2010. 10 24 PM IST
Changing chargers
It might seem the least sexy part of your tech gadget. But 2010 could be the year that frees you from the unholy mess of chargers in your handbag or briefcase. Major mobile makers recently committed to making the Micro USB format standard in all phones in another few years. You could see this standardization starting soon, as soon as 2010. With just one charger, you could power you phone, iPod, GPS receiver and maybe even a notebook PC.
Even if that takes time, 2010 could be the year wireless contact charger mats take off. With these pads, you can charge your phones and other devices simply by placing them on a “powermat”. No strings or wires attached. The recent International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2009 trade show in Las Vegas showcased a few models.
Speak up
Beyond words: Text-speech and speech-text could get a big boost this year.
The idea has been in the works for ages, but text-speech and speech-text could receive a mighty fillip this year. Already devices such as the N97 Mini, Kindle and other e-book readers have built-in text-speech modules that read the text back to you.
Applications such as Vlingo and Google’s Mobile App have voice recognition that let you input commands into your phone by speaking into it. As products get smarter, processors get tougher and voice software gets more accurate, you should see many more devices offering text-speech-text capabilities. Or smart apps, riding on 3G networks, doing it for them.
Seamless mobility
Why can’t you use your desktop at work, and then when you get up to go home, have all the session data synced to your phone, so that your bookmarks and browsing history travel seamlessly? Or maybe even some data and applications. Opera users have had the facility for ages. But with Firefox looking to launch the Fennec, a mobile browser, and more syncing options between phones and desktops, 2010 could see connectivity getting not just portable but seamless. One moment you’re typing, the next you’re touching.
sidin.v@livemint.com
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First Published: Sun, Jan 31 2010. 10 24 PM IST