Building a voice control system for navigating the web.

by Cary C
The journal article I have chosen is somewhat dated as it is five years old, but I still find it interesting because I believe it may describe one of the first major technology breakthroughs made possible through ASP.NET 2.0.  The authors compare four different technologies in their paper: Active Server Pages (ASP), ASP.NET 2.0, Java Server Page (JSP), and Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP).  Their research indicated that ASP.NET 2.0 had the highest communication success while also having the lowest response time.  Their testing involved pitting a Microsoft solution (Windows 2003, MSSQL 2005, and IIS) versus a LAMP solution (Linux, Apache, MYSQL).  Their goal was to develop a solution that would allow users to navigate through webpages using verbal commands rather than using their mouse or keyboard.

As we all know, the Internet has given those who are able to use it a wealth of knowledge at our disposal.  However, how many of us really take the time to consider how fortunate we are to have this amazing tool and set of resources at our fingertips?  Many of my fellow classmates probably cannot even remember a time before the WWW was available to anyone who was willing to pay a little bit of money per month.  I can assure each of you that we were not exactly living in caves prior to the creation of the World Wide Web, but we did have to do a lot of things that may seem primitive to some of you.  Examples would be pouring through encyclopedias to research papers, using reference cards to find books that were of interest, reading newspapers, looking up old volumes of journals on microfiche, etc.  Of course, there are many countries where Internet access is not readily accessible, and there are many disabled people who have had difficulty using computers and navigating the Internet in the past.

This article discusses the use of VOICEXML which is utilized through ASP.NET 2.0 to make it possible for users to navigate their computers and the Internet using voice commands rather than the keyboard and mouse.  Considering that most of us are very familiar with computers and take using them for granted, this might sound like a somewhat trivial thing.  However, I have the privilege of knowing quite a few disabled people, including a few people who are completely blind, and I can assure all of you that being able to access the Internet has been a major contributor to many people’s quality of life.

 

Reference:

Kang, B.; Pack, S.; Kim, H.; Kang, C. (2007). Experimental Study of Voice User Interface (VUI) System Using VoiceXML. Semantics, Knowledge and Grid, Third International Conference on, 4, 600-602.

4 thoughts on “Building a voice control system for navigating the web.”

  1. This new research does seem promising. Being able to surf the net using voice controls can help some disabled people but it seems as if this technology would also have to be paired with a hosts of different types of software's to be considered useful. It wont do much good if you can surf the web via speech if you are blind, you'd have to get it paired with a text to speech software. Nonetheless we are headed in the right direction.

  2. I think this topic is very relevant to the progression of voice implementation to our technology. Siri on the iPhone is probably the best example of this implementation as it offers a good way to find specific things on the web through voice. Companies are gong to have to develop their own form of the software to compete with Apple.

  3. The machines have already taken over. Voice is pretty common for navigation nowadays. It’s more accessible, mostly. But there’s a lot of work to be done with different languages and accents.

  4. It is only a matter of time until this technology comes out to the public. It will revolutionize search engines and make them more efficient. I also believe it will help people with disabilities especially if the content on the web will be read by the computer so the user can hear.

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