Amulet Devices Voice Remote for Windows Media Center

Amulet Devices Blog

Background plugin, always listening

Fri, September 24, 2010 by

A key component in our software for Windows Media Center is the Amulet Background Plugin. It’s loaded by Media Center when it starts, and is then continually ready to receive voice commands, independent of what else is happening in Media Center. It’s .NET C# code that interfaces to the MC API, and is independent of platform, as you’d expect with an MC addon.

The plugin’s first task is to load the lists of media items you have on your media center. It then prepares the approriate voice command grammars for the core speech engine. And now it’s ready to take commands.

When the remote is tilted and sends audio to the PC, the plugin processes the audio to do the speech recognition. This can be at any moment during Media Center. It’s independent of the UI. This gives us a lot of flexibility, which can be seen with our new Home Automation demo (previewed this week at Cedia 2010), where we merely had to adjust some of the background processing. When the speech is recognized, the background plugin performs the requested action, by calling Media Center functions, such as play item, skip 10 minutes, show channel etc.

The Amulet User Interface pages run in a separate plugin that is loaded by Media Center when needed. This dual approach means that we can continue to support voice recognition within the core Media Center software, through the background plugin, even if you decide you no longer want to use the Amulet interface pages.

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