New VCR responds to sound of your voice

October 23, 1992|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Hate to mess with all those tiny buttons to manipulate your home video equipment?

If you can talk, you can now train your VCR, TV and cable box to follow commands.

All it takes is a new voice-activated remote control, the VCR Voice Programmer, developed by a small outfit called Voice-Powered Technology in Canoga Park, Calif.

Using a sophisticated voice recognition sensing program that's interfaced with a modest, 8-bit microprocessor, this "speaker-dependent" system is smart enough to take voice command orders from four different users.

When vocally programming a VCR, the remote's LCD screen prompts you to announce first the channel number, then the date, the starting time and the end time. When playing back a tape, you can audibly order the VCR to start, stop, freeze, fast-forward or rewind.

Cutest touch is the "zap it" command, which sets the VCR into a fast forward mode for 30, 60 or 90 seconds (as you've pre-ordained) and then resumes normal play.

Already test-marketed successfully in Southern California, the voice-activated controller should be available nationwide by year's end through direct marketing and national catalogs, at a "special" introductory price of $149, or $20 off the suggested list.

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