If you’ve ever wanted to yell at your PC and get better results than a sore throat, then VoiceAttack might be the answer you’re looking for.
VoiceAttack is a powerful voice command system for Windows PC’s, and people are doing amazing things with it.
Voice control is often a staple of sci-fi shows, and has seen something of a boom period lately. Apple brought it to the masses with the Siri assistant on iPhone, while Microsoft made much of the voice recognition capabilities in Xbox Kinect.
VoiceAttack works with Windows speech recognition to combine that same level of convenience with enormous potential for customisation.
By assigning combinations of keyboard or mouse inputs to your voice commands through an easy to use interface, VoiceAttack makes it possible to perform almost any action on your PC simply by speaking.
VoiceAttack has found a natural home on the PC gaming scene, which is where creator Gary L Magenheimer first got his inspiration.
“A few years back, I just needed one extra way to invoke the ‘Medallion of the Alliance’ in World of Warcraft.” Gary told me
“I was thought this would be something I could control with a short voice command, and looked around on the web to see if there was something available. What I found was either limited and expensive, or free but complicated. So, I made a one-function application to solve my problem. It kind of grew out from there.”
Gary’s initial problem might sound trivial, but custom macro commands for gamers are big business.
A whole eco-system of accessories has grown around the need for gamers to issue complex sequences of commands quickly, with the likes of The Razr Orbweaver retailing at well over $100.
When you consider that VoiceAttack can be bought for $8, it’s easy to see why it’s developing an ever growing number of fans.
Since that first command was uttered in WoW, the application has grown quickly. VoiceAttack now allows users to create unlimited voice commands, and enables them to be split into separate profiles for use with different games or applications.
You can see a great video of VoiceAttack being configured for use with Elite: Dangerous here.
While still focused on the gaming market, VoiceAttack can be used for work as well as play.
Voice Attack has been put to all kinds of uses, with applications ranging from augmenting photo and audio editing software to initiating Skype calls. Gary has even had emails from people using his software to control in-car systems and lighting in their homes.
The reason that VoiceAttack has found uses in such varied applications is due to its flexibility. The configuration interface allows users to hide the advanced features if only simple tasks are required, but more in-depth features like repeating and composite commands are available when you are ready for them.
If you do decide to give VoiceAttack a try, there is a strong community that has formed around the product if you get stuck with the more advanced elements.
There is also a much more serious use for VoiceAttack, and one which Gary is very mindful of.
“There are folks that correspond with me from time to time and talk about how they are using VoiceAttack to overcome some of the challenges of limited mobility – using Windows and even playing games” said Gary during an email interview last week
“Limited mobility in some cases means practically no mobility… this remains a key driver in keeping this project going and available.”
VoiceAttack is available to download as a 21 day free trial from VoiceAttack.com, and costs $8 for the full version.
Have you used VoiceAttack? Maybe you’ve got a great idea for something you could automate with voice commands? Join the discussion below and let us know!