Voice command device

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Voice command software products[edit]

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

Microsoft Windows[edit]

Two Microsoft operating systems, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, provide speech recognition capabilities. Microsoft integrated voice commands into their operating systems to provide a mechanism for people who want to limit their use of the mouse and keyboard, but still want to maintain or increase their overall productivity.[1]

Windows Vista[edit]

With Windows 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 speech recognition software learns automatically every time a user uses it, and 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 train both the user and the speech recognition engine.[2]

Windows 7[edit]

In addition to all the features provided in Windows Vista, Windows 7 provides a wizard for setting up the microphone and a tutorial on how to use the feature.[3]

Mac OS X[edit]

All Mac OS X computers come pre-installed with the speech recognition software. The software is user independent, and it allows for a user to, "navigate menus and enter keyboard shortcuts; speak checkbox names, radio button names, list items, and button names; and open, close, control, and switch among applications."[4] However, the Apple website recommends a user buy a commercial product called Dictate.[4]

Commercial products[edit]

If a user is not satisfied with the built in speech recognition software or a user does not have a built speech recognition software for their OS, then a user may experiment with a commercial product such as DragonNaturallySpeaking. DragonNaturallySpeaking can be bought for the following OS: Windows PC: XP, Vista, 7,[5] and Mac OS(The Mac version is called Dictate.)[6]

Voice command mobile devices[edit]

Any mobile device running Android OS, Microsoft Windows Phone, iOS 5 or later, or Blackberry OS provides voice command capabilities. In addition to the built speech recognition software for each mobile phone's operating system, a user may download third party voice command applications from each operating system's application store: Apple App store, Google Play, Windows Phone Marketplace (initially Windows Marketplace for Mobile), or BlackBerry App World.

Android OS[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.[7] The speech recognition software is available for all devices since Android 2.2(Froyo), but the settings must be set to English.[7] Google allows for the user to change the language, and the user is prompted when he or she first uses the speech recognition feature if he or she would like their voice data to be attached to their Google account. If a user decides to opt into this service, it allows Google to train the software to the user's voice.[8]

Microsoft Windows Phone[edit]

Windows Phone is Microsoft's mobile device's operating system. On Windows Phone 7.5, the speech app is user independent and 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.[9][10] In addition, 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.[10]

Windows 10 introduces Cortana, a newly developed personal assistant that replaces the old voice control on Windows phones.


Apple added Voice Control to its family of iOS devices as a new feature of iOS 3. The iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the iPad (3rd and 4th generations), the iPad Mini, and the iPod Touch (5th generation) all come with a newer and more complex voice control system called Siri, replacing Voice Control, which is still present on older devices. Siri is a user independent built in speech 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.[11] In addition, Siri works on Bluetooth headsets and wired headphones.[12]

Speech 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 distracted. CNET states that Nuance is suggesting that in the future they will create a software that resembles Siri, but for cars.[13] Most speech recognition software on the market today only have about 50 to 60 voice commands, but Ford Sync has 10,000.[13] However, CNET suggest that even 10,000 voice commands is not sufficient given the complexity and the variety of tasks a user may want to do while driving.[13] Voice command for cars is different from voice command for mobile phones and for computers because a driver may use the feature to look for nearby restaurants, look for gas, driving directions, road conditions, and the location of the nearest hotel.[13] Currently, technology allows a driver to issue voice commands on both a portable GPS like a Garmin and a car manufacturer navigation system.[14]

List of Voice Command Systems Provided By Car Manufacturers:

See also[edit]