1Vox — Your Query Is Our Command

Uploaded by EyesFreeAndroid on 29.10.2009

>> RAMAN: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to one more episode of our Eyes-Free Channel
on Android. I'm T.V. Raman. >> CHEN: And I'm Charles Chen.
>> RAMAN: And this time around, we'd like to show you something completely different.
So, Eyes-Free Shell and TalkBack have all been about spoken feedback. And people who
work in the field of speech interaction in general, speech recognition in particular,
also asked, "Why don't Eyes-Free users, in particular blind users, use spoken input?"
Sounds like an obvious question given that finding controls on the screen and picking
them is hard. You would think that just saying what you want would be as easy as pie. Well,
it is and it isn't. Typically, you don't end up using speech input when you cannot see
because you also have the system talking to you. And when your system is talking back
to you, it also listens. It ends up talking to itself and doesn't turn out to be very
useful. So this is a problem we had when we sort of realized we wanted to use voice input
with TalkBack. Android as a platform has a very simple powerful way of doing voice commands.
It actually uses network speech recognition and does a completely outstanding job. But
that widget, if you will, that does voice search puts up a caption. It's a well done
app, so it's not just a picture. It has text in it. That caption says, "Speak now." Now,
if TalkBack were not smart about this, what happens is that TalkBack says, "Speak now"
and the recognizer would recognize "speak now" and you sit in an infinite loop. What
TalkBack does is that it specializes the voice widget and instead of saying "speak now,"
it actually plays a little auditory icon that prompts you for speech. And, so what we have
on the Marvin home screen is that if you stroke nine, it launches our special voice search
widget and it gets better than just voice search here. Now, for a lot of things for
the Eyes-Free user, you basically want to say something and get the answer spoken to
you without actually too much more interaction. I always say human-computer interaction is
fun, but it's even more fun when you don't have to go interact with your computer. So
things just happen for you. So let's show you that as a quick teaser here. You can try
a lot of smart searches, you can do weather searches, you can ask for the time in a particular
city, you can ask for a particular business. In many, many cases we will come back and
just speak the answer to you. You can ask for sports results, all of those things work.
We will just do this demonstration for you and I'll show you the weather in Mountain
View, given that it's a nice, beautiful fall -- early fall afternoon that feels like the
middle of winter. It's crisp and cold outside, so let's actually see what it's like.
>> Home. Search. >> CHEN: Weather Mountain View.
>> Home. The weather for Mountain View, CA: 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Clear. Wind, N at 13
miles per hour. Humidity: 40 percent. >> RAMAN: Well, so, as you can see, it's a
clear sunny, cold day out there. Wind is roaring out--roaring around and wind feels a lot colder
than in the '60s out there. Thanks for watching. And if you are in Mountain View, enjoy the
nice afternoon. Bye. >> CHEN: Bye.