Hello hello hello, everybody, and welcome to another epic Hack Chat. This week we're talking about hacking voice user interfaces with
Thank you for putting this chat together.
@Nadine can you start by giving us a little bit of background about yourself and why you want to share this topic with us?
You're welcome, @Thom !
Sure! I'm a designer / technologist working out of Toronto. I've done quite a bit of installation work, prototyping and DIY game peripherals, and lately I've been combining that w/ voice interfaces.
I'm really interested in how we can use voice in non-standard ways.
ie: in more art-like contexts, or how they work in an installation context, or even just doing some DIY stuff with them vs just home automation.
Could you share with us some of the applications you've been hacking voice UIs into recently?
Well right now, its mostly controlling different peripherals. so I've been looking at how to control stuff like printers, or making applications where maybe you have to bring the device specific objects (nfc). I've also started playing w/ some embedded versions of them, vs just the consumer devices.
Let's dive into the community questions, shall we?
We'll start out with the first question thrown up by @Thom , even though you touched at the answer in the discussion section already. Can we adapt devices to speak to other devices, yet? UI to UI
You can. Its a little futzy, but the devices to recognize their wake words / phrases if they are within ear shot of one another.
I've used Siri to control a google home and its pretty bizarre.
What are the good use cases and drawbacks for connecting systems in this way?
Also you can rope them into an on going circle by using something like Eliza, or writing your own skills to keep them answering one another.
Hmm. drawbacks /cases...
well one is just entertainment. They aren't that great at context, so its sorta like having parrots in the room. You could also have a use case of just trying to streamline your commands.
So rather than having to double up your programs for diff devices, just have one queen bee. Drawback tho...it could just not work, or stop working depending on if the platform is updated (this happens a lot).
Hah, I love the parrot analogy.
You could also try to trip them off programaticially through notifications sent from a skill, tho again, its kind of touch and go because notifications are still sorta new, and the big two really want you to use them in certain ways.
hmm, i guess other drawbacks are just how many internet microphones do you want in your house? heh.
They leads well into our next question
Our next question has been asked in various ways by multiple members of the community, including @Andrew and @Paul Stoffregen : what options are there for people who want to use their own voice UI but aren't comfortable with putting an internet-connected microphone in their house? Any ideas or tips about doing voice recognition locally, without any internet connectivity?
Yeah! you could try something like Pocket Sphinx. Its being developed by carnegie mellon and its meant for doing commands locally.
I've tinkered with it, but I'll be honest, it was a bit of a pain to get going in a virtual environment, I might try w/ out one. As I think its interesting.
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