Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Voice menu systems don't understand you? Try my fix

Cheap commercial voice "recognition" systems, like the one used by my employer's outsourced HR services, don't recognize my voice. Google has no problems, but when I say "benefits" they hear "please, torment me".

At home I can ask Emily to speak for me, but she's not always available. I need a substitute voice that's always available.

Fortunately I carry one.

The next time I face the cheap VR demon, I'm going to have my iPhone's VoiceOver voice talk for me.

Here's how it works. In settings go to General:Accessibility and set triple click to turn VoiceOver on/off.

In VoiceOver set Typing Feedback to "nothing". Set Pitch Change to OFF and speed to slow.

If VoiceOver is oddly silent, by the way, check this fix.

Now I'm ready. The next time I have to talk to a low end machine, I'll type the words and numbers into my iPhone. Then I'll use VoiceOver and let the phone do the talking for me. I bet it gets a lot more respect than I get.

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