Simon's Projects 1997
Software Oriented Projects:
Network monitoring
Scientific data analysis
Web diary
Speech interface for X
One time password
Slides viewer

Speech interface for X


There are a number of people in the lab. who suffer from RSI. One solution is to avoid typing by using a speech interface instead. Simon Crosby uses the Dragon Dictate speech recogniser on a PC which sends phrases to a UNIX box which converts them into mouse movements and key presses using public domain program a2x.

In the current system Dragon Dictate translates phrases into a primitive command language which specifies X events. I think that it would be better if Dragon Dictate simply transmitted English phrases which could then be translated by the UNIX box. This would allow for a better interface to perform configuration. Also, it would be easier to adapt commands according to the active application. For example, the phrase "exitprogram" might send ctrl-x + ctrl-c if emacs was being used or alt-q if netscape was in use.


A simple version of this project is not difficult (hence * rating). However, making the interface more easily programmable and context sensitive adds further complexity (**). A more intelligent interface could also be provided to allow access to menu based programs (***). For example, when using netscape it would be nice to be able to say 'options general' to open the general preferences from the options window. This will probable require additions to an window manager, e.g. fvwm.

Previous Work

This project has been proposed before and completed before.

Special resources

None. The speech synthesiser may be simulated by the student typing phrases into another X-terminal. It would, however, obviously be nice to test the system connected to Dragon Dictate.

Possible supervisors

I think I'll be too busy to supervise this project. However, it is an easy project to supervise.