Tuesday, October 24, 2006

HAL Deluxe

I was one of the lucky people who got a copy of HAL Deluxe for about $7 back when Lowe's was blowing them out.

While HAL has an exceptional voice recognition system, it has such a kludgy interface. It doesn't support any kind of scripting engine eventhough every major and just about every minor HA package does. It has a tedious point & click interface to add events, and there's no way to easily copy/paste events to make things more efficient. For whatever reason, they don't support MS standard SAPI like just about every other HA package. You have to buy their HAL Voices to get decent speech synthesis. If you have AT&T Natural Voices, you're out of luck. You still have to buy HAL Voices eventhough they are derived from the AT&T voices!! Fortunately, I won a gift certificate from Automated Outlet during a Cocoontech chat, so that lessened the pain of having to buy a copy of something I essentially already had.

Other than that, it does OK for what I use it for. ;) In the time since I bought HAL Deluxe, they've come out with something called HALi, an ActiveX programming interface to HAL. Recently, I finally gave in and upgraded to HAL 3.5 just to get HALi and see if it could be useful for anything. I'm hoping HALi will provide a better way to integrate HAL with starCOM, but 2+ years after its release, there were no samples of HALi using Windows scripting...

No comments:

Post a Comment