In the 1960’s, the phones in my house had real rotary dial, and five spins would get you a local call. Then came push-button phones, and with them longer numbers to remember, first seven then ten digits.
Now we get to the good stuff: voice recognition. Cell phone technology is leading the way on this front. By the way, remember when the only person in town with a phone in his car was the sheriff? Even with a rotary dial, this was clearly a tool of the future I could hardly wait for. Anyway, if you haven’t called directory assistance from a cell phone lately, stop reading now and dial 4-1-1. Most likely you’ll not get a person, but a very polite recorded voice.
Fake person: “What city and state please“?
Caller: “Dallas, Texas”
Next, some very soft futuristic sounds that sound, oddly, like the sound heard on Jeopardy while waiting for the categories to sort themselves.
Fake person: “Alright. Now, what listing“?
Fake person: “You said…Starbucks…is this correct“?
Fake person: “Alright. I’ll connect you now, at no additional charge“.
Cool. Of course it’s not perfect yet; sometimes the fake person can’t quite understand my East Texas speech patterns. Makes me wonder if she would have understood Sheriff Andy Taylor.
Maybe, but somehow I think Andy would have preferred good ol’ Sarah.