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Dear February 2012,

By David Hague

(c) Auscam Online Auscam is our partner in Australasia and has a website at www.auscamonline.com plus their magazine can be subscribed to from that address or by emailing [email protected]

Thanks so much for your email (email! How cuuuuteee!) asking about 2027. It did take us a bit of time to decode it, direct memory transfer being all the range these days an' all as against travelling electrons. Still those good folk at WETA in the new state of North Island did a pretty good job and we got the gist of it.

Yes people still watch movies albeit the fads of your decade, 3D in particular have evolved and gone; why would you bother when you can be a part of it on a whim? A bit like that old TeeVee show, what was it called? Oh yes Star Trek with the...ummmm... holodeck thing. Quaint idea and missed the mark a bit but they had the right idea.

Clever woman that Majel. Who was she married to? Dr Who-was it-again?

Anyway, the really clever thing that was the big leap in movie making was this clever gizmo from Microsoft called Kinect. Has it come out in your time as yet? It allows you to move frames and sequences around with movements of your hands and even give voice commands. Far better and quicker than that silly rodent thing. Admittedly you need some large screens, but with holo-OLED 300" ones (what IS an inch anyway?) now at $3.50, that's not an issue. (Getting them home is mind you).

The fine tuning of voice recognition has helped enormously too. People started to learn that Dragon Dictate did actually work given patience (I mean, how fast can YOU learn a new language?) and now in version 37.5 nobody uses keyboards anymore except for a few welded on die-hards. They probably still use that silly Siri thing too mind you. The implementation of speech has also got rid of silly emoticons, overuse of the exclamation mark and we finally have managed to ban a number of words from the vocabulary forever such as 'hilarious', 'a-mazing' and 'awesome' and some phrases too eg 'too funny', 'gadget goodness' and 'I heart something.'. Thank the patron Saint of Higgs Bosun.


All in all, it has meant that we are free from the constraints of the tools and can concentrate on the story and visual aspects of the experience. And isn't that what we have always been chasing?

Must catch up soon. Keep in touch. Let me know how 2014 goes. Top Year I believe.


June 2027


Okay, may be a little over the top, but you get the idea. And personally I don't think at least some of these ideas are that farfetched (we can only hope on the banning of certain words and phrases I fear). Microsoft Kinect has already revolutionised the way people play games and it is fact it is coming to a PC near you. The video editing idea has already been shown in such movies as Minority Report and TV 's Spooks. And I have personally seen the Microsoft 'Coffee Table' prototype and used a Windows 8 touch screen system.

Voice control is a bit different to deal with. I have been playing with Dragon Dictate and its offshoots, siblings and competitors since the late 80s when Creative Labs were dabbling (and still viable - where are THEY now?)

The problem has always been getting people to train the system to their voice patterns and inflections, so the industry commentators suggest. I disagree.

My investigations say that the biggest problem to using say Dragon is a twofold thing; the first is that people are worried around their privacy and don't want every man and his gryphon in the office to know what they are 'typing' and to whom. The same applies to hands free phone kits I suspect. They are fine in a car, but you don't often see people yabbering on in public. Sure a few do, but watch and the majority of people discreetly cover their mouths with their phone and be as sote voce as possible.

The second is ridicule. Let's face it, if you saw someone talking into thin air and waving their arms around, you'd think 'what a tit'. I'm not Pat Malone in this I'd suggest. I am quite happy to sit in my office at home and dictate as much as I can, but balk when someone comes into the room.

It's a shame that more don't actually try voice dictation as it is very effective and time efficient once you get the hang of it, and the training periods these days are really quite minimal.

But at the end of the day, as suggested, if we can allocate more time to thinking, the story, the visuals and the dialogue as against fighting the tools, whether we are scriptwriters, directors, artists, editors or whatever, that has to make a better end product that people want to watch. And pay to watch.

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David is the owner and publisher of Australian Videocamera. He has a background in media dating back to 1979 when he first got involved with photojournalism in motorsport, and went from there into technology via a 5 year stint with Tandy Computers.

Moving back to WA, David wrote scripts for Computer Television for video training for the just released Windows and Office 95 among others, and was then lured to Sydney to create web sites for the newly commercial Internet in 1995, building hundreds of sites under contract to OzEmail including Coates Hire, Hertz Queensland, John Williamson, the NSW Board of Studies and many, many more.

David can be contacted via  [email protected]

Related Keywords:speech recognition, user interface


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