The Science of Voice Recognition: Video of the Day

The Science of Voice Recognition: Video of the Day

Oct 18, 2014

I believe in the concept of anchor apps: apps that make the prospect of switching platforms unpalatable. These apps are the apps mobile OS makers count on to help propagate their respective OSes. Get some good anchor apps to get new folks hooked on your ecosystem, and sky’s the limit.

In fact, I theorize that having a few mobile anchor apps like Maps, Gmail and Search is what gave fledgling Android OS a fighting chance while it gained users and the developers needed to create the vibrant app ecosystem needed to keep those users satisfied… and encourage friends and families to do the same.

On Android, I do have a few anchor apps. One that stands out is Google Now. The voice assistant is an excellence tool I rely on heavily (with the help of Tasker and associated plugins). I’d be loathe to do without the cards, information and tie-in with other Google services.

In the video below, we get see a Google-created documentary about the science behind voice technology.

[Source: Google Youtube via Engadget]

KickStarter Spotlight: Outerlands: Season One

KickStarter Spotlight: Outerlands: Season One

Feb 12, 2014

For this week’s KickStarter Spotlight, we here at Android Rundown, have expanded our horizons to shed some light onto a very deserving project in serious need of some attention. For me, growing up in the mid-to-late 90’s I never had a proper exposure to arcades which is something that I wish I had been able to really enjoy. Sure the local pizza joint had a Tekken machine in the back next to NFL Blitz but I never got the true experience of being in a crowded arcade enjoying the cutting edge of video game technology and entertainment. Most of my experiences with these endangered, beloved gaming foci has been retroactive; I guess one could say my mind has already been corrupted by the lavish graphics and convenience of console and PC gaming.

Even so, my curiosity and respect for the arcade has never quite diminished. For millions of people the arcade was their childhood, and like other forms of art or sporting history there needs to be a way of historical documentation and preservation for nostalgic entertainment as well as future intellectual study and comparison. It is certainly not hard for me to imagine my cousins in middle school having access to a ‘History of Video Games’ course by the time they reach college.

Outerlands poster art and a $10 pledge reward.

Outerlands poster art and a $10 pledge reward.

Due to the analog medium of the arcade and early home console era games most of these games have a very definite shelf life. Compared to CD’s or hard drives, a floppy disk breaks down fairly rapidly and for lesser known games there is a growing concern that all usable copies will be lost forever. Film crew Area 5 from San Fransisco has been working hard, traveling around the nation to find these remaining remnants of the past as well as highlight the many stories they find along the way. For anyone who is a fan of video game lore, this set of documentaries is sure to deliver plenty of insight with a generous helping of nostalgia on the side.

However, Outlands is more than just a historical lecture. A large focus of this documentary is about the people who are actively in contact with these games both in preserving the past and creating new exciting ways to play socially. This KickStarter is specifically for one-six episode season that, hopefully, is the beginning of something much more expansive. By splitting this project up into episodes it allows Area 5 to really focus in on specific individuals or generas without having to worry about making a transition to a different topic. The shear breadth of stories that this crew is aiming to report on is astounding and should make for an extremely compelling set of documentaries.

Unfortunately, part of the reason for writing this is because with just over 2 days remaining, Area 5 is still $31,000 away from successfully reaching their $210,000 goal. I hope that my thoughts here have brought this project to the attention to those who truly appreciate the art form that is slowly slipping out of societal consciousness. So, as always, please consider donating and help make this incredibly ambitious project become a reality.