June 24, 2007

Shoot Ghosts with Windows Speech Recognition

Sorry about the lengthy blogging hiatus. I've been extremely busy at work and just have not found the time to spend on fun things like my blog. I know that's a lame excuse, so I'll give you another one. In what little free time I've managed to find, I've actually been playing a game. :-) And, guess what, I've been using Windows Speech Recognition to help me win.

What game have I been playing, you ask? Well, my current game of choice happens to be Desktop Tower Defense, a relatively simple but strategically complex game. In fact, I would have never known about it without reading Text Services Framework guru Eric Brown's blog. Thanks, Eric! Now, I'm addicted, too.

The object of this free Flash-based game is pretty simple. Shoot all the little ghosts before they escape the maze of towers that you create. It sounds simple enough, but it can get extremely difficult as the game progresses. In fact, a lot of the challenge involves managing and upgrading your maze of towers when the screen is already littered with ghosts. I soon discovered that just using the mouse to control the game was not enough. Timing is of the essence during the more difficult levels. I needed to find a way to issue the accompanying keyboard commands so I could keep the mouse on the playing board at all times; otherwise, I was doomed.

So what does a guy like me do who has virtually no movement in his left hand and is stuck using the mouse with his right hand? It's time for Windows Speech Recognition to save the day again! By turning on typing mode by saying Start typing, I was able to quickly adjust all the common game play elements by voice, saying Number one for pellet towers, Number two for squirt towers, and so on. You get the picture. There's no need to touch the keyboard when Windows Speech Recognition can do it for you. :-) Very cool, and very fun!

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