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Goodbye mouse hello voice controls


15 October 2007Researchers at the University of Washington have developed voice recognition technology to navigate the Internet for those that cannot use a handheld mouse.The Vocal Joystick relies on vowel sounds to move in one direction or the other and moves faster or slower dependent on how loud the user speaks, and detects sounds 100 times a second. Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering says in a statement:“There are many people who have perfect use of their voice who don't have use of their hands and arms, I think there are several reasons why Vocal Joystick might be a better approach, or at least a viable alternative, to brain-computer interfaces.” The technology can be used for browsing the Internet, as well as for playing video games and even drawing on a screen. Other technologies are available for those users who cannot use a handheld mouse, eye trackers, sip-and-puff devices and head-tracking systems, also exist for enabling the disabled to take advantage of computers and the Internet. Although these are available, the University of Washington researchers suggest that these technologies have limitations, whereas Vocal Joystick is simpler to use. Using the tool only requires a microphone, a computer sound card and a user who can make sounds.
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