It’s safe to say that the days of pen and paper are being phased out. Once smartphones hit the mainstream consumer market, the adoption of the QWERTY keyboards into writing was unstoppable. For businesses, it can seem as though everything is shifting to digital and there is less and less paper around the office. Now some users of mobile devices are making use of another form of technology to record text: Voice Recognition.
With many smart devices being brought into the home of people around the world, the technology and possibilities within Voice Recognition are only increasing in complexity. So much so that businesses and organisations are finding it to be a useful tool within many of their day-to-day activities. The world of work has always been heavily impacted by the technology and social norms that people carry and choose in their personal life. Now it appears that Voice Recognition within data input and data recording is yet another one of those things brought into the business world.
Voice Recognition within business may sound like it must mean some form of robot that understands your commands within the factory. Now whilst that may be possible thanks to today’s technology, this isn’t really what it means to most industries. In simpler terms, Voice Recognition is the understanding of the software to respond to an audio input in the form of a human voice. Essentially, it’s the matching of this input to specific instructions in the software that lets the technology act upon these commands. In the world of inspection – something that affects almost every single industry field and organisation, Voice Recognition is now being used to record data on inspection platforms. Consider someone inspecting the fire escape in a multistorey building, the controls at the top of a crane or perhaps the underside of an agricultural machinery asset. It’s paramount that any inspector in such a situation can have their hands free. Where Voice Recognition technology steps in is providing exactly this – a hands free experience. Where typing on a screen or keyboard didn’t improve on the pen and paper method was the need to use both hands in the action. With Voice Recognition this takes the experience out of the typing or scribing realm, data input coming from your voice only.
Aside from seeming like a cool gimmick, Voice Recognition in data input is beneficial for inspectors due to its improvements over manual input in accuracy and speed. Many users across sectors frequently note how using data input through Voice Recognition improves their speed in making recordings. This is not surprising, given that most people can speak faster than they can type. Another observation from users is that the data recorded is of higher quality. When making a reading on any equipment it can be easy to mentally note a few numbers before putting in the data to any checklist to avoid the process being too repetitive. Another common mistake can often be to read off the wrong screen and record the value in the incorrect column. They may sound like trivial things, but things like these still happen to many users in many different fields. With Voice Recognition the obvious improvement is the lack of need to even move your eyes from the reading itself, and to step by step work through the process of taking measurements in a more thorough way. Small improvements in accuracy and speed over time build into noticeable differences for any business or organisation.