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ShutterVoice to enable control of Canon EOS Utility by voice  
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
Developer Scott Forman is nearing completion of ShutterVoice, a Windows-only application that enables many of the functions of Canon's EOS Utility to be controlled with spoken commands. Originally created to ease the process of shooting lighting tests with himself as the subject, Forman has decided to commercialize his efforts into a US$30 program, which is projected to emerge next month.

As the Commands & Responses configuration screen below shows, ShutterVoice allows for broad control of EOS Utility. Without touching the keyboard, it's possible to utter command phrases that adjust shutter speed, aperture, ISO, engage Live View, set focus distance (autofocus in Live View is possible too, though with the EOS 50D and EOS 5D Mark II only), take a picture, enable the display of autofocus points, rotate pictures and more. There are a few things that ShutterVoice doesn't handle, but the list is comparatively short. Says Forman: "The ones it can't [control] are the menu functions and the White Balance settings on the Live View screen itself. It can, however, control the White Balance through the main EOS window."

shuttervoice_commands.jpg
On Command: ShutterVoice's Commands & Responses configuration screen (Screenshot by Scott Forman)

Forman has done most testing with an EOS 50D and EOS 20D, while private beta testers have put ShutterVoice through its paces using an EOS Rebel XSi and EOS 30D. That said, it should be compatible with most or all Canon digital SLRs that can be controlled from EOS Utility, though with various functionality limitations based on the capabilities of a given camera model. The video below shows EOS Utility being controlled by a beta version of ShutterVoice (note the computer's audible response to each command):

On Command: A video showing ShutterVoice in action (Video by Scott Forman)

ShutterVoice is compatible with EOS Utility 2.4 through 2.5.1. At this point in its development, says Forman, the program is working well in Windows XP, but additional work is required to get it running smoothly in Windows Vista (a Mac version isn't planned). Early feedback from photographers has led Forman to settle on a single US$30 version of the program, rather than separate standard and pro releases.

He intends to begin making ShutterVoice more widely available starting in December 2008, though whether its emergence begins with a public beta or official release, and whether Vista support will be finalized by then, these details are still being sorted out. You can sign up to be notified when ShutterVoice is ready to go.
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