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T&D > Programs Areas >Inventory & Monitoring > Voice-Activation of a FS Application on Field Data Recorder Program Areas
Voice Activation, Phase II: Voice-Activation of a Forest Service Application on Field Data Recorder: Proof-of-Concept Study - Negative Finding

Rey Farve, Project Leader


The Vangard Voice's AccuSpeechMobile software is advertised as a flexible software tool that enables mobile applications that operate on Windows Mobile CE 5.0 or greater to be voice-powered. Vangard Voice's software provides a simple, innovative, "noninvasive" approach of inserting code to command-and-control mobile applications. The simplicity of this approach allows all computing to be performed on the device itself, which allows the field data recorder to remain as a completely untethered tool.

SDTDC conducted a proof-of-concept study to test whether (or not) this voice-activation software could command-and-control a Forest Service mobile application on a field data recorder. The intent was to demonstrate if voice could be used to efficiently and effectively provide hands-free, command-and-control of the FSscaler application when entering data under actual field conditions.

This study demonstrated the time and effort that was necessary to voice activate a relatively simple mobile application so that it would reasonably operate in an office setting. The study also reported that background noise (wind) encountered under actual field conditions currently makes voice-activation of a field data recorder for Forest Service field use impracticable.

The possibility of using voice to power a mobile application on a field data recorder commonly used by field personnel (during actual field conditions) appears dependent on future improvements in the technology of noise-reducing/cancelling microphones. As that technology advances, the use of voice as an effective (and possibly more efficient) alternative to manual data entry in the field may be practical.

Note: Our Forest Measurements Group partners suggested that throat microphones (like those used by the military and law enforcement) may eventually provide an effective solution to voice-activation of field data recorders in the outdoor, noise-prone environment.

Photo of throat microphone on a dummy
Throat microphone