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A voice command device is a device controlled by means of the human voice. By removing the need to use buttons, dials and switches, consumers can easily operate appliances with their hands full or while doing other tasks. The first examples in home appliances are washing machines that allow consumers to operate washing controls through vocal commands, and mobile phones with voice-activated dialing. Newer VCDs are speaker-independent, so they can respond to multiple voices, regardless of accent or dialectal influences. They are also capable of responding to several commands at once, separating vocal messages and providing appropriate feedback, accurately imitating a natural conversation. They can understand around 50 different commands and retain up to 2 minutes of vocal messages. VCDs can be found in computer operating systems, commercial software for computers, mobile phones, cars, call centers, and internet search engines such as Google.

In 2007, a CNN business article reported that voice command was over a billion dollar industry and that companies like Google and Apple were trying to create voice recognition features.[1] It has been four years since the article was published, and since then the world has witnessed a variety of voice command devices.In addition, Google created a voice recognition engine called Pico TTS and Apple has released Siri. Voice command devices are becoming more widely availble, and new innovative ways are being created. For example, Bussiness week suggests that the future remote controller is going to be the human voice. Currently XBOX live allows such features and Job’s hinted at such a feature on the new Apple Tv. [2]

Voice command software products[edit]

Both Apple Mac and Windows PC provide built in voice recognition features for their latest operating systems.

Microsoft Windows[edit]

Two Microsoft operations systems, Windows 7 and Windows Vista , provide voice recognition capabilities. Microsoft integrated voice commands into their operating system to allow people who want to limit their use of the mouse and keyboard, but still want to maintain or increase their overall productivity.[3]

Windows Vista[edit]

With Window’s Vista voice control a user may dictate documents and emails in mainstream applications, start and switch between applications, control the operating system, format documents, save documents, edit files, efficiently correct errors, and fill out forms on the Web. The voice recognition software learns automatically every time a user uses it. Speech Recognition is available in English (U.S.), English (U.K.), German (Germany), French (France), Spanish (Spain), Japanese, Chinese (Traditional), and Chinese (Simplified). In addition, the software comes with an interactive tutorial, which can be used to both train the user and the voice recognition engine.

How To Use:[edit]

1. Open Speech Recognition by clicking the Start button
2. Click All Programs
3. Click Accessories
4. Click Ease of Access
5. Click Windows Speech Recognition.[4]

Windows 7[edit]

On Windows 7 it is essential the same as Windows Vista, but Windows 7 provides wizards for setting up the microphone and a tutorial on how to use the feature.

How to set up microphone on windows 7:[edit]

1. Open Speech Recognition by clicking the Start
2. Click Control Panel
3. Click Ease of Access
4. Click Speech Recognition.
5. Click Set up microphone.
6. Follow the instructions on the screen.

How to get to tutorial on voice recognition software:[edit]

1. Same steps as listed in setting up the microphone up to step 4
2. Click Take Speech Tutorial
3. Follow the instructions in the Speech Recognition tutorial.[5]

Mac OS X[edit]

All Mac OSX computers come pre installed with a software called VoiceOver,and its a "full-featured screen-access technology that makes it possible for those who are blind or have low vision to control their computer."[6] This software comes with "Alex Voice", which is according to Apple,"uses advanced Apple technologies to deliver natural intonation in English even at extraordinarily fast speaking rates." [6] With Voice Over a user can <finish voice over features>[7]

How To Use:[edit]

1. Press the Command and F5 keys together.
2. In OS X, you’ll hear a new welcome message inviting you to learn VoiceOver using the Quick Start.

Commercial Products[edit]

If a user is not satisfied with the built in the voice recognition software or a user does not have a built voice recognition software for their OS, then a user may experiment with a commercial product such as DragonNaturallySpeak. DragonNaturallySpeak<link> can be bought for the following OS:
• Windows PC: XP,Vista,7 [8]
• Mac OS [9]

Voice command mobile phones[edit]

Any mobile device running Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone, Apple IOS 5, or Blackberry OS provides voice command capabilities. In addition to the built voice recognition software for each mobile phone operating systems, a user may download third party voice command apps from each operating system's application store: Apple App store,Google Play,Windows App Store,or BlackBerry App World.

Google Android[edit]

Google has developed an open source operating system called Android, which allows a user to perform voice commands such as: send text messages , listen to music , get directions , call businesses , call contacts , send email , view a Map , go to websites , write a Note , and search Google. The voice recognition software is available for all devices that run Android 2.2(Froyo or later), but the settings must be set to English. Google allows for the user to change the language, and the user is prompted when they first use the voice recognition feature if they would like the voice data to be attached to their Google account, and by checking the box that allows the attachment, this action allows Google to train the software to your voice.[10]

How to Use:[edit]

There are two ways to use the voice recognition capabilities provided by Android:
1. Go to the applications menu and choose the voice command application. If a user does not have the “Voice Search” application, then the user may go into the Google play store and download it.
2. Whenever they see the microphone icon <insert picture of mic>, which usually appears when a user is trying to type something.[11]

Microsoft Windows Phone[edit]

Microsoft Windows Phone is Microsoft’s mobile device's operating system. On the windows phone, voice recognition software is called speech. Speech can be used to: call someone from your contact list, call any phone number, redial the last number, send a text message, call your voice mail, open an application, read appointments, query phone status, and search the web. Speech can also be used during a phone call, and the following actions are possible during a phone call:press a number, turn the speaker phone on, or call someone, which puts the current call on hold. Windows Mobile 6.5 is a user independent program that does not require speech training.[12]

How to Use:[edit]

1. Press and hold the Start button on your phone to start Speech. Tap Help to see some examples of things you can say, or say "Help" to have your phone read the examples to you.
2. Speak a valid command
3. When you're done talking, tap Go, or just wait a couple of seconds. [13]

Blackberry OS[edit]

On a Blackberry smart phone running Blackberry OS 7 or later speech can be used to perform certain tasks. With speech a user can perform the following tasks: call a contact name or number, determine which phone number a user is currently using, check signal strength, check network, check battery, and it has a repeat command.[14] In addition, Blackberry OS allows a user to change the language for giving commands, the language of the voice prompts and allows for voice recognition training.[15]

How to train:[edit]

1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Options icon.
2. Click Voice Dialing.
3. Click Adapt Voice.
4. Complete the instructions on the screen.

How To use:[edit]

1. On the Home screen or in a folder, click the Voice Dialing icon.
2. After the beep, say a voice command. [16]

Apple Iphone[edit]

Apple in its latest addition to the iPhone family rolled out the iPhone 4s. The iPhone 4s runs iOS5, and it comes with a new feature called Siri. Siri is a built in voice recognition feature that allows a user to issue voice commands. With the assistance of Siri a user may issue the following voice commands: send a text message, check the weather, set a reminder, find information, schedule meetings, send an email, find a contact, set an alarm, get directions, track your stocks, set a timer, and ask for examples of sample voice command queries. In addition, Siri works on Bluetooth headsets and wired headphones.

How to use:[edit]

1. In order to use Siri press and hold the home button on the iPhone. Shortly after two beeps will be heard and the screen will display ““What can I help you with?”.
2. Start taking and there is a microphone which lights up to signal it is listening. [17]

Voice Recognition in Cars[edit]

As car technology improves more features will be added to cars, and these features will most likely distract a driver. Voice commands for cars according to CNET should allow a driver to issue commands and not be too distracted. CNET states that Nuance is suggesting a Siri software for cars, which should be released in the near future.[18] Most voice recogntion software on the market today only have about 50 to 60 voice commands, but Ford Sync has 10,000.[18] However, CNET suggest that even 10,000 voice commands is not sufficient given the complexity and the amount of things a user may want to do while driving, to name a few looking for restauraunts, look for gas, and find nearest hotel.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Now You're Talking". CNN Money. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  2. ^ [{{refimprove|date=November 2007}} "Voice Control End Of TV Remote"] Check |url= value (help). Bussiness Week. 
  3. ^ "Windows Vista Built In Speech". Windows Vista. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Speech Operation On Vista". Microsoft. 
  5. ^ "Speech Recognition Set Up". Microsoft. 
  6. ^ a b "Vision". Apple. 
  7. ^ "VoiceOver". Apple. 
  8. ^ "DragonNaturallySpeaking PC". Nuance. 
  9. ^ "DragonNaturallySpeaking Mac". Nuance. 
  10. ^ "Google Voice Search For Android Can Now Be "Trained" To Your Voice". Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Voice Actions". Google. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Using Voice Command". Microsoft. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "Basics of Speech on Windows Phone". Microsoft. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Availible Voice Commands". Blackberry. 
  15. ^ "Change Language". Blackberry. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Perform Voice Command". Blackberry. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Siri FAQ". Apple. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c "Siri Like Voice". CNET. 

Category:Speech recognition Category:History of human–computer interaction