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Voice Me: A Voice-Activated Remote Control

VoiceMe is a voice-activated remote control. It can be used to control up to ten functions on your TV, DVD player, Home Theatre system or whatever and it can have up to four separate users. If you are one of those who often loses remote controls, it could be an attractive option.

Review by Rick Walters

While anyone can see the attractions of voice-activated control, it could be even more advantageous if the prospective user is blind, elderly, quadriplegic or otherwise handicapped and unable to use conventional remote controls.

In fact, the potential for this device seems almost unlimited for these people. And since one of my relatives is blind, I was particularly keen to see if it would suit that situation.

VoiceMe main unit

The unit has two modes of operation: voice control or via an RF (radio frequency) remote. As you can see from the photograph the unit only has four buttons. Each button selects a user (1-4).

It also has an infrared receiving window in front of the buttons and IR emitting windows to the left, right and rear. Each window has two IR LEDs. Finally, there is an electret microphone under a hole at the apex of the dome.

Power for the unit comes from a 9V 300mA DC plugpack or it can be used with four AA cells which are fitted into a compartment underneath the unit. The unit apparently saves all commands in non-volatile memory, so loss of power (ie, when you change batteries) does not result in any loss of commands.

VoiceMe extender

The VoiceMe Extender RF remote control has four buttons corresponding to those on the main unit, plus mode and mute.

The iPod-like circle at the top allows channel up and down with the left and right symbols and volume decrease and increase with the top and bottom symbols. A red LED at the top right corner lights whenever a button is pressed.

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