James O'Neill's blog

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Manuscript Teaspoons and why Jason's getting a better voice experience than I am

Manuscript Teaspoons and why Jason's getting a better voice experience than I am

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voice command2 I was going to write about my Experience of using Outlook Voice Access.  And Voice command on my phone. I have phone set up so that when it sees my Bluetooth headset, it announces my calls.

On a typical day I'll clear mail that came in overnight before I leave home, drop one or other of my kids at school/nursery and head into work. That way I miss the worst of the traffic, get time with the kids and have a clear conscience.

On the journey Voice command will often hawk in my ear that I have a message - it only reads the subject line. At some point in the journey I'll call into Exchange and get it to read my mail. On the way home I'll call in again and kill off a bunch of mails that have been attended to. It works ... although sometimes I think of Dr Johnson's description "like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.". The problem is that I want to use voice access when my hands are busy (e.g. Driving at 60-70 MPH.) and that usually means there is background noise.

A call should go something like this.

ME: {Press headset button, wait for beep} Call Voice mail
VC: Call voice mail ?
ME: Yes {Phone Beeps}
E2K7: You are connected to Microsoft Exchange please ...{phone sends extension number}
E2K7: James O'Neill. Please enter .... {phone sends pin}
E2K7: You Have: no: new voice mails and ....
ME: E-mail
E2k7: Opening your mail box. First a message from Joe Spammer, subject ....
ME: Delete
E2K7: Message Deleted. You can restore ...
ME: Next !
E2K7: Next a message from forwarded by E-lean Brown, subject, Manuscript Events in Seattle. I think this one is for Teaspoons e-Lean Brown vertical bar Manager it pro Evangelist Team vertical bar Developer and platform team.
ME: Goodbye
E2k7: I heard you say goodbye...
ME: Yes
E2k7: Thank you for calling.

Woah ... Who's E-Lean ... oh it can't say Eileen. Manuscript Events... what the heck is it talking about ? if you check in the dictionary MS is the abbreviation for Manuscript. So what if we use it to mean Microsoft ? and Teaspoons ? TSP is what we call a technical sales professional to the dictionary it's a teaspoon. And if you don't put a closing full stop the reader just ploughs into the next line - and it reads some things out loud. The vertical bar isn't too bad, but the way it reads URLs is painful.

But here's what can happen, with a 3 year old headset calling from a poor signal area at 65 MPH.

ME: {Press headset button, very loud beep follows} Ouch (expletive deleted) ...
VC: Call Jackie at home ?
ME: what ? No !! {turns volume down and tries again} Call Voice mail
VC: Call Eileen Brown ?
ME: No.  Call Voice Mail 
VC: Call voice mail ?
ME: Yes {Phone Beeps}
E2K7: You are connected to Micro{crackle}ange please ...{phone sends extension number}
E2K7: James O'Neill. Please enter .... {phone sends pin}
E2K7: You Have: no: new voice mails and ....
ME: E-mail
E2k7: Sorry I didn't catch that. You can say...
ME: {louder} E-mail
E2k7: Opening your mail box. First a message from Joe Spammer, subject ....
ME: Delete
E2k7: Repeating. A message from Joe Spammer
ME: DELL  EAT
E2k7: Repeating. A message from Joe Spammer
ME: {Angry} Delete the damn message you stupid bitch
E2k7: I didn't catch that, you...
ME: Oh yes you did.
E2k7: Sorry I still didn't catch that. You can say ...
ME: Delete message ?
E2K7: Message deleted You can ...
ME: Next !
E2k7. Sure You can say...
ME: Next !
E2K7 I heard you say goodbye .
ME. WHAT ? No !!
E2K: Returning to the main menu, you can say
ME: E-mail
E2k7: Sorry I didn't catch that. You can say...
ME: {louder} E-mail
E2k7: Sorry I still didn't catch that. Let's try using the keypad.
ME: No
E2k7: Press 1 to .
ME: {disconnect}

Jason thinks it is amazing to use on his commute. But now I think I know why: he tells us just how great he thinks the nose reduction on the Jawbone "Wow! Is all I can say.  The Noise Cancellation is nothing short of amazing.  My car doing over about 60 mph gets quite noisy and normally Outlook Voice Access couldn't understand me... similarly if I took a call in the car no-one could hear me" . Jason also says "I've seen many of my US Colleagues use these and swear by them". Indeed. They've had Outlook Voice Access for a year longer than we have. 

So this is now top of my gadgets-to-get-work-to-buy list.

Comments
  • I'm a little fed up of the PERLEASE WEEPEAT that Voice command bleats a bit too often - also my wife's family name is Tallontire and that really really throws it - as for Alasdair mmmmmm

    recognition seems to be more wayward with a low battery on my E650 and also seems to improve accuracy the longer the phone stays continuously powered - I hope this is real and not my imagination

    I got rid of announcements - too annoying.

    I just want it to do more but know it can't like traditional voicemail where the TUI reigns I have to key in DTMF digits - very very naughty. overall I think voice is a great addition to road safety

  • Steve, who reads my blog mailed me with a problem he's got with Outlook Voice Access. It made me giggle...

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