Adding Voice Commands to your App

Source: MIT Technology Review, Oct 2014

A startup called Wit.ai plans to make it easy for hardware makers and software developers to add custom voice controls to everything from smartphones and smart watches to Internet-connected thermostats and drones.

With Wit.ai, developers type a handful of plain-English commands they want it to recognize, such as “Wake me up tomorrow at 6” or “Wake me up in 20 minutes,” and note what they want to accomplish through each command—in this case, set the alarm on a hypothetical voice-controlled smart watch. Wit.ai uses what it knows about language to figure out the different ways a command might be expressed.

Then, when a user wants to set the alarm for a specific time, that person’s utterances are sent to a Wit.ai server, which analyzes the audio and sends structured data back to the gadget—here, the instruction to set the alarm for the proper date and time. A demo on the company’s site gives an idea of how this can work.

 

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