Computers can feel one dimensional, requiring the user to read and type. Humans don’t naturally interact like this. We communicate best with our voices and our ears. One day, our PCs will have artificial intelligence and we will be able to communicate with them as if we were talking to a person. Until this technology becomes mainstream, these two audio features will have to make do.
There’s a plethora of text-to-audio apps available for download, but did you know that you already have this tool on your Windows OS with Notepad? This feature is not readily available, and requires some programming on your part, but don’t let that scare you; creating this Notepad audio program is as easy as copying and pasting.
First, you will open Notepad. Now copy and paste the following text into Notepad:
Dim msg, sapi
msg=InputBox("Enter your text for Conversation | Tool by Irshad (http://pctricksonline.blogspot.com)","PC Hacks Text-To-Audio Converter")
Next, you will go to File > Save As, and then save the file as text_audio.vbs. You will then close the note and open the saved file. When you open it, a text box will appear with a form. Simply type or copy and paste your text in the form, click ok, and then be amazed when you hear it read it back to you.
One of the first lines you can enter into the form for playback is, “Check it out. This makes me a computer programmer!”
Google Voice Search
Another fun way to interact with your PC audibly is by using Google Voice Search. Searching the Internet is something you do quite often; therefore, using your voice to enter text into the search bar is an easy way to make your everyday web-browsing experience feel more natural.
Google Voice Search is a feature that comes standard with Google Chrome, and it is easy to use. All you have to do is go to Google’s homepage and click on the mic icon to the right of the Google search bar. You will then speak into your microphone what it is you want Google to search for, and the more you use it, the more accurate the app will be able to read your voice. Expect a few funny results when you first start using it, and be sure that you have SafeSearch turned on.
Bonus Fun Tip
To have some fun with your computer’s audio and voice features, try combining the two. Open your text-to-audio notepad, type some text into it, and have it read the text back to Google Voice Search. This is a highly inefficient way to search the web, but it is fun nevertheless.
These features are already on your computer and they are just a taste of what you can do to make your computer more interactive. There are many great apps, like Siri for iOS and Robin for Android that can give your computer a personality and a semblance of artificial intelligence. Do you have a favorite interactive app? Share it with us in the comments.