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Reach out and touch someone: Low tech makes a comeback

Reach out and touch someone: Low tech makes a comeback
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What can you do with your smartphone? The better question might actually be what can't you do? Our gadgets today have so many great features that you can do everything from take an HD photo to check your heart rate. In fact, with so many great tools jam-packed into one, many people have given up on the basic function that made phone's popular in the first place - the voice call.

Now, phone calls still have their place. But, they've taken a back seat in everyday life to text messaging. If you have a teenage child like me, then you know that better than anyone. Sending a text is so quick and easy that it can make phone calls feel like a hassle by comparison. No one wants to get stuck playing phone tag for two hours just to relay a simple message.

Texts are a good way to relay a short message or ask your husband to pick up milk on his way home. But, if you're like me, you still like the personal nature of a phone call. When it comes to birthdays or just catching up, nothing can beat calling friends and family just to check in and get an update on what's going on in their lives.

That's why statistics show phone calls are now on the rise. But, this isn't a comeback - it's more of a reinvention. The phone calls of the future might not look quite like you remember them.

Voice calling

Voice calling is on the rise. There's no doubt about it. The spike is likely caused by people looking to find the personal connection that's missing with a text message.

According to figures from CTIA — the Wireless Association, the number of voice minutes in the United States increased to 2.62 trillion, from 2.3 trillion.

That trend probably won't end anytime soon. That's because tech developers are now coming up with even more ways to help us make voice calls by combining the personal touch of a phone call with the convenience of a text message. Thomas Gayno and Jeff Baxter had worked on Google Glass, and now have started their own project called Cord. It's a voice messaging service that's already raised over $2 million in seed money. They think voice messaging is the way of the future because new wearable tech like smart watches will rely on voice functions.

There's also mobile apps like Voxer and ChitChat that let people send short voice messages to one another. Apple is also developing a new feature that will let iPhone users do the same thing.

The new services aren’t trying to replicate the phone calls of yore. Instead, they are trying to fashion a new kind of voice interaction that is efficient and intimate, yet not intrusive. Many have the advantage of letting the recipient of a message play it and answer it at her leisure.

Voice calling is here to stay. In fact, if you love talking to your friends and family, it looks like you're going to have more options than ever.

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