Google Nexus One: Speech-to-text turns laughs into LOLs

If you thought that speech-to-text was something that was going to arrive only after we all got our government issued hoverboards, think again, because Google has proved us wrong

Ian Morris

While we were at CES in Las Vegas last week, we took every possible opportunity to get hands-on time with the Google Nexus One. As unashamed Android fans, we couldn't wait to see what the latest version of the OS could do. We were especially excited about the new HTC hardware, with a Snapdragon processor giving a much-needed performance boost. What we weren't expecting though, was the amazing speech-to-text engine.

During the demo, the Google rep showed us that you can dispense with the keyboard on Android phones almost completely now. Speaking a sentence works as well as using the keyboard, but it has the advantage of being much faster than the virtual keyboard. What's more, the accuracy is excellent -- it can even understand you in a crowded room.

By far the coolest bit was when it heard its user laughing, and translated the sound to LOL, instead of just ignoring it. We can't confirm which other abbreviations it can translate to text. Is ROFLMAO catered for? Can the phone make automatic LOLcaptions for your best cat photos? However you look at it, it feels like having a keyboard might be a thing of the past -- they've been rendered obsolete.

Check out our more detailed Nexus One hands-on photos here.