b. Smart Cards. Smart cards may well become more common than bubble
memory as the storage medium of the future. Currently 200 times faster then floppy
disks in retrieving information, they are small enough to fit into a wallet. As with a disk,
information can be input and erased. On a space the size of a credit card, 4 million
bytes can be stored, far exceeding the current capacity of floppy disks (1.25 million
bytes). This vast amount of information can be retrieved on a reader (current price:
0) as rapidly as one can switch from one television station to another. Floppy disks
with improved disk storage capacity will provide some competition for large- capacity
smart cards. Smart cards will become the first-choice of consumers because they are
small, fast, high capacity, and they require low-cost readers. Currently the cost of a
blank card is somewhat prohibitive, pricing in at 0. This cost should shrink as time
smart card: storage medium larger in capacity than a floppy disk, and smaller in
size. Likely to become the preferred storage medium.
a. General. Efforts are now underway to program computers to understand
speech. No simple matter, as there is such variation in intonation, pitch, pauses, errors,
hesitations, incomplete words, and pronunciation differences among speakers. To date,
machines have been programmed to perform specified tasks in response to spoken
commands, using a very limited vocabulary and simple sentence structure.
b. Chess. One such system accepts spoken commands to move chess pieces,
using only thirty-one words and a small number of action statements like "move" and
c. The Handicapped. An anticipated application will increase the self-
sufficiency of handicapped persons and children. With a wheel chair controlled by a
computer that understands spoken commands, the user will instruct the computer to
move the wheelchair in certain directions. A mechanical arm will be instructed to
manipulate eating utensils.
d. A Means of Identification. The human voice may also find wide acceptance
as a means of identification. Instead of needing a card to access a bank account, for
example, the computer could be programmed to recognize the account holder's voice.
Software programs now exist to translate printed documents. Thanks to
cheaper, more powerful computer chips, computerized language translators that
recognize and translate a user's speech will soon be available. One of these, a
Spanish/English system (costing 00), is already on the market, with a