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Senior Project - PrintSpeak


Voice User Interface for Multi-Function Devices

Senior Project: 2003-2004
Seth Pensack-Rinehart, Christopher Piekarski, Benjamin Taylor, Derek Trumbo and Prasanna Yalavarthy
Printing Systems Division
Boulder, CO

IBM's reach has spanned the globe for the better part of 100 years. This enormous corporation, specializing in information technology, has successfully maneuvered from one focus in technology to another to maintain its elevated presence in the marketplace. Now with 415,000 employees and contractors, the company, once largely centered around hardware and manufacturing, has made a large move towards the service side of IT. One division within IBM that is comprised of both hardware and services is the Printing Systems Division (PSD). This division focuses on products that manage information output and products and services that streamline printing processes and reduce output-related costs for any size of company. PSD produces printers from $300 desktop home printers to $500,000 high-end industrial color printers.

PSD also produces Multi-Function Devices (MFDs), devices that offer copy, fax, email, and print functionality. One large, potential MFD customer is the United States government. However, as the government has certain accessibility guidelines it must follow, MFDs sold to the government would need to have an alternate interface for those with visual, motor, and other impairments that make using current touch-screen interfaces difficult or impossible. A voice interface that assists these users would provide IBM with the potential to break into an as of yet untapped market.

This project provides a solution for this need. The system allows a person to thoroughly interface with the email, copy, and fax functions for Blue Magic, one of IBM's multi-function devices. The system parses a user's speech using an IBM voice toolkit, sends the appropriate commands to the printer, and relays feedback to the user. It provides three user interface modes: speech wizard, complete command, and step-by-step. The speech wizard walks the user through every command and option. The complete command interface allows the user to specify the command and options in a single sentence, e.g. "Make 23 copies double-sided reduced 20% stapled upper-left corner". The step-by-step mode lets the user say parts of the command while waiting for visual confirmation on the touch-screen. The system was defined in a modular fashion, allowing it to be easily ported to work with other MFDs.

Audio:  Send Fax to 555-1212  Send Fax to 555-1212
Configuration File
Configuration File
Blue Magic Interface
Blue Magic Interface
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May 5, 2012 (14:07)