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All posts tagged voice commands

BionicWomanHere is yet another feeble attempt to stay on the voice command/text-to-speech topic in Windows Phone 8 while injecting cartoons and superheroes as a theme.  With the fear of dating myself, how about a character that sits between cartoon and superhero?  What is that you say?  I say, “What about a character that isn’t a cartoon nor a superhero?”  Have you ever heard of The Bionic Woman?  The bionic woman was Lee Major’s, the Bionic Man, old flame who had a parachute accident and got all busted up falling through a bunch of trees, only to land on her head and damage her hearing.  Well, since they were able to use bionics to help Lee Major after an aircraft accident, they figured, “Hey, we did it once, let’s try it again.”  So, the Bionic Woman was given the gift of amplified hearing in her right ear along with other abilities.  That being said, this post is dedicated to having your Windows Phone 8 app listen to your every word.

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imageWell, I have used Felix the Cat and Captain Caveman in my last two posts, so it is time to crack out a superhero, The Fly.  In the first four issues of Adventures of the Fly,  others took on the character and made him an adult lawyer who fought crime in Capital City. He was later partnered with Fly Girl.

So, as a continuation of my previous posts, Text to Speech in Windows Phone 8 and Voice Commands in Windows Phone 8, I thought I would expand on my previous post and show you how to update your voice commands on the fly.  For example, what if we wanted to add to a command by introducing a new word to the phrase that was spoken?  Up until now, we could only issue commands that we defined in our voice definition.  Well, today, I am going to walk you through how to add this functionality programmatically.

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FelixTo play off of my last post on Text to Speech in Windows Phone, I thought I would continue the theme of cartoon characters.  So, anyone out there heard of Felix the Cat?  Felix the Cat was a funny cartoon character in the silent film era.  He always found himself in a fix and needed to resort to his bag of tricks.  Well, let’s jump into the Windows Phone SDK bag of tricks and see how we can send voice commands to our Windows Phone 8 application.

Windows Phone 7.x introduced simple voice commands such as “Open Ebay”, “Call Ed Glogowski”, “Find food in Apple Valley”, “Text John Cannon” or even “Note It is my wife’s birthday on Friday”.

Windows Phone 8 has given developers the option to extend the voice commands to call directly into their application.

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imageDoes anyone out there recall the old cartoon, “Captain Caveman”?  Well, if you don’t recall it is probably because there is a great chance that you haven’t ever even heard of it.  He was basically a really hairy caveman, with a club, who could pull anything out of this hair and eat about anything you can imagine.  His club would also open up with miniature dinosaurs that would perform various tasks.  Here is a quick video in case you are interested.

So, you are probably wondering about now where I am going with this, huh?  Well, just as Captain Caveman could reach into his hair for goodies, so can we with the Windows Phone SDK.  One very powerful feature we can pull out is the Text to Speech API.  Windows Phone developers are given a SpeechSynthesizer object that you can use to add some very powerful functionality to your app.  It can provide subtle user feedback as well as very elaborate speech feedback.

At the time of this writing, SpeechSynthesizer supports 15 languages and each supports both a female and male voice.  You can view these languages in your phones settings under Speech.  In the Speech settings you will see the a number of settings, but the important ones to note are the Text to Speech voice and the Speech Language.  These settings will be what the SpeechSynthesizer uses as its default.  Your app will have the ability to change it programmatically as well.

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