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iPad 2 And iPhone 5 Home Button Replaced By Gestures & Voice Recognition?

Apple looks set to ditch the home button on its upcoming iPad 2 and iPhone 5 devices in favour of using gestures, but this control method is limited - especially when you are wearing gloves.

What Apple is likely to do is back it up with another mode of communications, and we're thinking that voice recognition (rather than facial recognition) will fit the bill.

Apple has already been granted a number of patents for speech recognition systems, including one dating back to the 24th of October 2006 relating to the generation of language models and the interpretation of speech based upon them.

Those who have witnessed Microsoft's Ron Forbes issuing commands to Zune via the Kinect during the software giant's keynote at CES 2011 will know how much of a game changer this can be.

Apple also bought startup Siri in April 2010, which developed voice-activated search apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and was granted more key patents for seamless contextual voice commands back in December 2010.

Based on this, we're pretty confident Apple will not only remove the home button on the next iPad and iPhone, but will also bring in gesture control and voice recognition to replace it.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.