Orion Data Ltd
Not Known
Hardware: Add-on
Not Applicable

Chris Bourne


SPEECH recognition is a growing area of interest and the new Micro Command from Orion Data looks set to help. It is supplied with a microphone and a demonstration tape which allows Spectrum users to teach their computers up to 15 words and then to have words recognised when repeated.

Users of 48K will also be able to play Sheeptalk, a game where the dog is controlled by spoken commands.

Normally, speech recognition for a computer is very expensive; a look inside Micro Command shows why. It contains a Z-80A CPU, as used in the Spectrum, ROM and RAM, buffers and audio circuitry.

The demonstration tape takes you through the process of learning to use the unit in easy stages. Starting with up and down and then adding left and right it allows you to continue only if you score more than 80 percent. You must pronounce each word very carefully. Once past that stage you can play Sheeptalk. The game, produced originally by Virgin Games, is in Basic and hence fairly slow. It shows the limitations of the unit, as it is difficult to keep the same careful tone when the dog starts driving the sheep into the river.

Included with Micro Command are comprehensive instructions for its use, plus an additional information booklet which lists the basic teaching program and a disassembly of the machine code which is used. It also gives details of the variables used by the code and shows how to include Micro Command in your programs.

Micro Command costs £49.95. That may seem expensive to Spectrum users but considering its contents, the work which must have gone into it, and the price of other similar units, it is reasonable. Orion Data is at 3, Cavendish Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1RN. Tel: 0273-672994.

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