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voice dial

What is voice dial?

Voice dial is a telephone feature that initiates a call when the user says a contact name or the digits in a phone number. Many cell phones and smart phones offer voice dialing.

Voice dialing systems use speech recognition software. The simplest systems, known as "speaker-dependent," are based on recordings called voice tags. To create a voice tag, the user says the words that will identify a contact -- "Jane at the office," for example -- and keys in the associated phone number. To call that number in future, the user simply repeats the words in the voice tag. Speaker-dependent systems can only identify numbers that have voice tags created for them and sometimes fail to do so when someone other than the person who made the original recording says them. Most phones with speaker-dependent systems support a limited number of tags.

More sophisticated systems are known as "speaker-independent." In a speaker-independent system, any user can say any contact name and the phone will dial the closest match found in the directory.

Voice dial systems often include voice commands, which may differ from one product to another. Commands may also access other functions, for example, the user might say “camera” to open the camera or “voicemail” to go to voicemail.

 

Learn More About IT:
> Adam Fendelman explains how voice dial works in more detail.

This was last updated in May 2009

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