One problem I’ve spent some time thinking about is what it will be like when we have many devices around us that are all “always listening.” Let’s say I’m on my computer, but my phone is in my pocket, my tablet is on my desk, and maybe I’m wearing a pair of Google Glass. How will a device know that I’m talking to it? If I’m searching for something on my computer, how will my phone know not to?
Right now Glass solves this problem by having a unique keyword. I say “Okay, Glass” when talking to my Google Glass, and “Okay, Google” talking to everything else. Will other Google devices get their own unique keywords? For example would I say “Okay, Chromebook” when commanding my Chromebook? Another possible solution would be to have a “primary device” that would pick up voice commands, unless it’s not around, in which case another device would.
This isn’t a huge issue, because none of these devices are “always listening” yet, except for the Moto X (which uses the phrase “Okay, Google Now” which I feel is rather long and clunky). Currently, you always need some other interaction to trigger the listening mode. With Glass, you have to tap the side or look up. With your computer, you have to navigate to the Google homepage. With your Nexus 5, you have to navigate to your home screen or Google Now.
I don’t think that this will be the case for very long though. People want truly hands-free interactions. If that day comes, and this problem isn’t solved, we may end up with something like this: