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  • Google's updated voice app for Android makes cars jealous

    Watch the video for this - I can't wait for 2.2 on my phone...

    Google: Voice Actions for Android

  • #2
    Looks great. Will need a data plan to take full advantage, but still nice nonetheless.

    Would be great if Voice Actions could be interfaced with our carPC's. Possibly a RideRunner, openMobile or Centrafuse plugin where the driver (or passengers) would use their Android phone to control their frontend (i.e. next song, play video, pause, play Bruce Springsteen, etc). Then our Android phones would be the a new input device.

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    • #3
      I've still yet to get android voice working in-car. It works great at home, or anything outside of a car... but you introduce road and engine noise... and it just doesn't work :/
      "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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      • #4
        Originally posted by malcom2073 View Post
        I've still yet to get android voice working in-car. It works great at home, or anything outside of a car... but you introduce road and engine noise... and it just doesn't work :/
        Yea that's definitely a problem. Having the bluetooth headset/mic near your mouth would hopefully help, but I'm sure there will be some problems. I haven't tried it personally.

        If I understand it correctly, Google translates the voice on their servers so it all depends on how their speech recognition handles the ambient noise. I realize your in-car experience has not been great, but the video indicates that Google wants you to use Voice Actions in the car so hopefully they can filter out all the noise and take this into consideration.

        If voice didn't work, I would be just as happy with a regular android app that works over bluetooth. There's one for XBMC that works (over Wifi) very well:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY-r-POY3yY

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        • #5
          I'm missing the point...

          Why would you want to use a phone as a voice recognition device, have that voice sent all the way to google's servers, translated, and then sent all the way back? A carPC can do everything on that list locally using a microphone designed for in-car use.
          openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
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          • #6
            Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
            I'm missing the point...

            Why would you want to use a phone as a voice recognition device, have that voice sent all the way to google's servers, translated, and then sent all the way back? A carPC can do everything on that list locally using a microphone designed for in-car use.
            I agree, it seems a bit redundant. But I think there are still applications for it. In my earlier comments, my initial thoughts was that Voice Actions for Android could compliment a persons carPC which is already equipped with voice recognition (I still remember your openMobile voice videos btw). So if someone has an Android phone then they could still use it to control their carPC OR use their standard microphone while in the car. For me personally, if I were to setup voice-recognition for my carPC, I would choose to buy/use an Android plugin rather than buy an Andrea mic. It would be a smaller investment to gain the same functionality (if it could be replicated). But that's just my situation.

            But other applications may still exist. A person could pass his/her phone to the backseat passenger and let them control the carPC. It's possible that these backseat passengers will not have an Andrea Mic close by to listen to their commands. Same would apply for passengers in the third row seats as well. Plus, it could still have applications if you're not even in the car, but still within BlueTooth range.

            Again, I haven't given this a lot of thought, but I think the carPC community could take advantage of it in some way.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
              I'm missing the point...

              Why would you want to use a phone as a voice recognition device, have that voice sent all the way to google's servers, translated, and then sent all the way back? A carPC can do everything on that list locally using a microphone designed for in-car use.
              Bcause you can use your phone in more places than your car pc and Google has the strength and motive to put some very sophisticated recognition algorithms behind their translate service.
              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
              Want to:
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              • #8
                Originally posted by matt11601 View Post
                I agree, it seems a bit redundant. But I think there are still applications for it. In my earlier comments, my initial thoughts was that Voice Actions for Android could compliment a persons carPC which is already equipped with voice recognition (I still remember your openMobile voice videos btw). So if someone has an Android phone then they could still use it to control their carPC OR use their standard microphone while in the car. For me personally, if I were to setup voice-recognition for my carPC, I would choose to buy/use an Android plugin rather than buy an Andrea mic. It would be a smaller investment to gain the same functionality (if it could be replicated). But that's just my situation.

                But other applications may still exist. A person could pass his/her phone to the backseat passenger and let them control the carPC. It's possible that these backseat passengers will not have an Andrea Mic close by to listen to their commands. Same would apply for passengers in the third row seats as well. Plus, it could still have applications if you're not even in the car, but still within BlueTooth range.

                Again, I haven't given this a lot of thought, but I think the carPC community could take advantage of it in some way.
                A directional array microphone will always have better noise reduction properties then a cell phone but that "pass the mic" idea is a cool one.

                Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
                Bcause you can use your phone in more places than your car pc and Google has the strength and motive to put some very sophisticated recognition algorithms behind their translate service.
                Apparently you've never used google voice lol... They use nuance for their voice servers which isn't exactly cutting edge just industry standard. Their homebrew stuff (used for google voice) is horrific in its translation quality, probably quite a few years before its good enough to even be in the same league as its competitors.

                Anyway, my point wasn't why is this significant to cell phones (which it certainly is) it was why is this significant to cars.
                openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                - Always Recruiting Developers -
                Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                  A directional array microphone will always have better noise reduction properties then a cell phone but that "pass the mic" idea is a cool one.

                  Apparently you've never used google voice lol... They use nuance for their voice servers which isn't exactly cutting edge just industry standard. Their homebrew stuff (used for google voice) is horrific in its translation quality, probably quite a few years before its good enough to even be in the same league as its competitors.

                  Anyway, my point wasn't why is this significant to cell phones (which it certainly is) it was why is this significant to cars.
                  What about a phone with directional array mics and built-in noise-cancellation technology? Like the Droid X. I have no problem using voice commands with my x whether i'm in the car or not. Matter of fact its the only way i use my phone in the car. Its by far easier to compose a text message by voice than picking up the phone, and its easier to say "Call wife" than go through front end menus to press a contact button.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
                    What about a phone with directional array mics and built-in noise-cancellation technology? Like the Droid X.
                    Cell phones including the droidX have omni-directional mics not directional mics. They may have 2 (iphone4) or 3 (droidx) but they still have to cancel 180 degrees of background noise which even the best algorithms cant do in quite a few cases.
                    openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                    - Always Recruiting Developers -
                    Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                      Anyway, my point wasn't why is this significant to cell phones (which it certainly is) it was why is this significant to cars.
                      I think the reason I posted this is that it sets "levels of expectation". I agree with you that the best thing for the car is to have it self contained, because the comms infrastructure is not quite ready to have our vehicles hooked up to Google's servers all of the time in all of the places we're driving. But...

                      Google's new voice app is scarily accurate. We were playing with it at work, and yes, you can just send SMS messages and e-mails by dictating. It never once failed (some of the wording comes out funny) and it's a little slow, but I can see people start to rely on it because of how well it works on a regular basis. When that happens, hopping in the car (the number one place you need to be able to interface with a computer hands free) and not having it 'just work' like your phone is going to be a negative for the non internet enabled CarPC. Google’s voice is getting better all the time because they can throw as much CPU time as they want to at the problem, while the recognition in your standalone PC is limited to what you have in your car.

                      Interestingly enough, Google has plans to add this capability to other devices as well. Read more on their plans here.

                      Microsoft is doing the same thing, by the way. If you read this press release, you will see that they have the same expectations for the rapid spread of speech technology (and they mention cars!) and the evolving computer interface.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                        A directional array microphone will always have better noise reduction properties then a cell phone but that "pass the mic" idea is a cool one.

                        Apparently you've never used google voice lol... They use nuance for their voice servers which isn't exactly cutting edge just industry standard. Their homebrew stuff (used for google voice) is horrific in its translation quality, probably quite a few years before its good enough to even be in the same league as its competitors.

                        Anyway, my point wasn't why is this significant to cell phones (which it certainly is) it was why is this significant to cars.
                        I'm always struck by the 'now' focus of your posts! "it doesn't work as good today so it never will work tomorrow.". As in, "Windows 1.0 is so much lamer than the Mac Finder. It will never plug and play like the Mac"

                        To answer your question, though, it is significant to cars because a lot of people use cell phones in their cars. A very small minority use pc's while a very large number of people keep trading their phones every 2 years for more capability, greater power, and better speed.
                        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                        Want to:
                        -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                        -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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                        • #13
                          i agree. the carpc hobby industry is still in its baby stages, yet it might already be becoming obsolete. 10 years from now it will be hard to buy a car without a factory computer built into the dash, and they will be just as functional as what our custom ones are now.

                          its just a hobby to me though. i know i can get a droidX or something and pretty much use that for everything i do.... to me though, theres nothing better then running full-blown windows inside my car (problems and all!)

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                          • #14
                            I have 2.2 Froyo, it's pretty cool.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by trader007 View Post
                              i agree. the carpc hobby industry is still in its baby stages, yet it might already be becoming obsolete. 10 years from now it will be hard to buy a car without a factory computer built into the dash, and they will be just as functional as what our custom ones are now.

                              its just a hobby to me though. i know i can get a droidX or something and pretty much use that for everything i do.... to me though, theres nothing better then running full-blown windows inside my car (problems and all!)
                              i disagree--carpc's, or at least most of the ones here are almost strictly a hobby-- a car-manufaturer-installed carpc solution will never have as much adaptability/functionality as one of our solutions because they need to locks it down to allow everyone to be able to use it without screwing it up..

                              everyone here has time to track down why program 'x' doesn't work on the way we need it to.. a standard user requires that program 'x' does what it is supposed to, no matter what..

                              there is also the lag time with car manufacturers-- they almost never have anything close to the latest tech...

                              but enough of that, back on topic:

                              i am guessing that the program that google is using for voice recognition is to large for downloading to a cell phone, or requires a better processor for decoding the voice..

                              by sending all the data back to a main server, i just think that there is going to be too much lag between some voice commands-- and for people like me, if i can's see it working, i would start repeating commands, so by the time the voice prompts caught up, it would have been about 6-7 skipped songs over what i originally wanted..
                              My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                              "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                              next project? subaru brz
                              carpc undecided

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