Introduction: Use Spells to Control Your Computer!
Things you need for this project:
- A computer with Windows XP or Vista
- A microphone
- Some time and patience!
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Step 1: Download Voice Activiation Command Software
I simply googled the term, and Voice Activated Commands came up as the first choice. This program serves a useful purpose in RPGs and other computer games where voice commands can be given rather than typing in key combos. For this project, it can be used to cast "spells" on your computer to manipulate it to do your bidding.
VAC Download Page
It's currently only available for Windows XP and Vista.
Step 2: Grab Some Spells and Plug 'em In!
Some sample spells:
- Brighten Screen
- Dim Screen
- Volume Up
- Stop In Web Browser
- Exit application
Step 3: Enter the Incantations
Boot up VACBuilder and create a new profile. Name it whatever you like: I did Harry Potter as an example.
Next, you want to start making spells. You go into the "Action Description" box and hit the "Add" button. Enter the spell name and click "OK".
After this, go over to the "Command List" box. This is where you will program what will happen when a certain phrase is said. Qualifier keys can be anything from "Alt" to "Shift", so just explore both lists. The extended keys reach almost anything, including browser commands and media player commands.
If you want to make sure you have the right key, boot up the Keyboard Tester program that came with VAC. Click the button in the top left to change it from "Disabled" to "Enabled". When enabled, your keyboard will light up buttons when you push them.
You can do multiple things with one voice command.. Just add another command and repeat the last step.
The "Command Attributes" can be used for more personal commands, dealing with the duration the combo is held, the pause before it is executed, and the number of times to repeat the combo.
"Profile Activation Keys" deal with activating and deactivating the voice commands by using key combos. I didn't bother with these in my project, but you certainly can if the mood strikes you.
Finally, you want to test your phrase to make sure the computer can recognize the voice commands. To do this, simply hit the "Test Phrase" button in the bottom right corner. If it matches your voice command with the correct spell, you're golden. If it doesn't just try again or pick a different phrase to say.
And of course, save your profile with the button in the bottom right before you close.
Step 4: Categories
If you are going to be using this program for more than one project, you may want to make categories for the different commands. To do this, go into "Tools" and "Category Setup". Hit "Add", make one, and hit "Okay." To add spells to a category, right click them in the "Action Description" box, go into "Category", and click the one you made for it.
Step 5: Boot Up the VAC System
From the manual:
When the icon is just the microphone:
- VAC is running and ready.
- VAC is running and has a profile loaded.
- Vac is running, has a profile loaded and the recognition is active.
I'll get a demonstration video up sometime soon!
My backup file is attached which contains all of the spells I have made thus far. To use them, go into VAC builder and hit "File", "Import", and "Text File (txt)".
Step 6: Your Spells!
I don't know what he uses, but I'd suggest:Imperio - Task ManagerAvada Kedavra - Shut downOblivio - RestartAlso, he has Volume up and mute, but not volume down. I'd suggest Quietus for that.
Quietus - Reduces VolumeReducto - Closes current windowI solemnly swear that I'm up to no good - Open web browserMischief Managed - Also closes current windowLegilimens - Opens the Task ManagerImperio - Opens the Command Prompt
benthekahn suggests his own reverse psychology spells...
You should make everything a normal but different command. ie...Startup=shutdownmute=full volumeprevious song=next song
Step 7: Additional Software
- Munkey suggests using the default speech recognition software