Friday, May 1, 2015

What tools wil public speakers be using a decade from now?

I’m not sure, but they may include smartglasses like the Google Glass shown above. At the very least it could be used as an almost invisible teleprompter. Smartglasses also could give you a presenter view of the slides or video so you don’t need to turn around to face the screen and ignore the audience. Back in January 2010 I blogged about other software that provided Visual feedback for vocal variety.

On March 30th the University of Rochester had a press release about how Wearable technology can help with public speaking. It described a real-time feedback system called Rhema for both volume and speaking rate. Details are in an article by Tanveer, Lin, and Hogue. The press release began by stating that speaking in public was the top fear for many people, with the implication that new technology would help. (A six-page article about teleprompters in the Saturday Evening Post for September 14, 1957 was titled “Sure Cure for Stage Fright”).

Maybe in a decade displays like descendants of Google Glass will seem normal. I still find them a bit creepy. That’s probably because I first saw similar devices worn by the nasty Borg on the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation back in 1989. Their first communication with us was:

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

The image of Google Glass came from Wikimedia Commons.

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