May 2, 2013

Technology is Great . . . Even When It's Not

You can let faulty technology frustrate you or amuse you, it's entirely up to you -- and maybe your time schedule.  Try to find the humor in it.  If a laugh a day keeps the doctor away, then we should all be pretty healthy these days.

I was playing with my Google Goggles the other day and got thinking about how much fun technology is.  A friend sent me a picture of something he was served at lunch.  He didn't know what it was and didn't want to ask, so he sneaked a photo and texted it to me.  I certainly didn't know what it was, so I ran it through my Google Goggles.  Goggles cranked up and scanned the photo on my phone like some old timey machine, screeching and honking with the blue vertical line scanning back and forth across the page.

A few slurps of my blended coffee beverage and a few minutes later, Goggles reported that it couldn't identify this luncheon object, but it suggested about 100 photos of things similar.  About 70 of the 100 had similar content and seemed to fit while the other 30 were irrational, some even silly.

So we had a lot of fun with the Goggles that day, my friend and I.  It brought back memories of when voice recognition first came to our mobile devices.  Do you remember your first voice activated text?

I was in Florida visiting a friend I hadn't seen since we were teenagers.  We were cruising down the highway when she began speaking into her phone.  Rapidly.  I almost went off the road as I tried to figure out what she was doing.  I didn't know mobile phones had voice recognition for text messages.  She was sending her son in Iraq a text.
After speaking rapidly, she'd pull the phone away, squint to read what it interpreted for her text, throw her head back and laugh outrageously.
Then she'd read it back to me and I, too, would have a hearty laugh.  We did that for the whole drive. Occasionally, she would approve the text and send it.  To Iraq.  Isn't that amazing?  Instant communication all over the world still awes me.

Ever since then, I've been using voice recognition and it's gotten almost flawless with its interpretation, which is helpful, but takes all the fun out of it.

Then I was remembering when Tom first got his iMac and began using the iPhoto Faces feature which lets you tag photos and then it goes out and tries to find photos of that same person.  It was hilarious to watch the people it would bring together as "the same person."
Elvis, Ronald Reagan and Seinfeld's Soup Nazi for instance.  Sure they look a little similar, but do they really look like my brother Steve
Faces sure thought they did.

Faulty technology can cost us time and create frustration, but sometimes it's just plain funny.  And who doesn't need a good belly laugh now and then?


Anonymous said...

Did Faces say I looked like the Old Elvis or the Young Elvis?

Brother Steve

Poof said...

I'm happy to say it was the young Elvis. :)