Say Hello to Cognito

Cognito is the only truly hands-free voice recognition assistant on Android. It makes doing things with your phone easier than ever and even has social side.

Send texts, call buddies, tweet, post on Facebook, find places, get movie listings, sports scores, weather forecasts, reminders, remember where you parked your car, … all with just your voice and even while your phone is in sleep mode!

Oh yeah, did we mention there's a free version?

Google Play
YouTube

What You Can Ask & Say

What can I say?
Phone | Call [contact name]
| = or
[contact name] = first or full name
e.g.1, Phone Sarah
e.g.2, Call Cameron Diaz
[Send a]* Text [to]* [contact name] [message]*
* = optional
e.g.1, Text Ben I'll be there in 5 minutes
e.g.2, Send a text to Kristen Bell
[On | At]* [day | date | time] remind me to [thing to do] ¹
e.g.1, On Friday remind me to book my flight
e.g.2, At 4 o'clock remind me to pick up the laundry *
e.g.3, Tomorrow remind me to head home early
Add | Create a note | task [called]* [name]* to [do something] ²
e.g.1, Add a note to shop for Christmas presents
e.g.2, Add a note called Groceries bananas lettuce eggs bread
e.g.3, Create a task to plan our summer vacation
Where's the nearest [place type]³?
e.g.1, Where's the nearest grocery store?
e.g.2, Where's the nearest post office?
Is there a [place type]³ near here?
e.g, Is there a department store near here?
Where's the nearest [business name]?
e.g., Where's the nearest Starbucks?
Remember where [something]
e.g.1, Remember where I parked my car
e.g.2, Remember where the station I got off at is
e.g.3, Remember where I put my skis
Where did (I | is the | are) [something]?
e.g.1, Where did I park my car?
e.g.2, Where is the station I got off at?
e.g.3, Where are my skis?
What's the weather [forecast]* [for day]* [in city]*?
'day': today | tomorrow | [day of week]
e.g.1, What's the weather forecast for today?
e.g.2, What's the weather for Friday in Paris?
e.g.3, What's the weather forecast for Tuesday in Paris, Texas?
e.g.4, What's the weather in New York for Sunday?
Will I need an umbrella?
What movies are playing?
What are the top movies?
What are the show times for [movie name]?
e.g., What are the show times for The Dark Knight Rises?
What are the theaters and show times for [movie name]?
e.g., What are the theaters and show times for Total Recall?
When | What is the next show time for [movie name] [at theatre name]*?
e.g.1, When is the next show time for Total Recall?
e.g.2, What's the next show time for Ted at Regal Colony Square?
What's playing next at [theater name]?
e.g., What's playing next at Colony Square?
What are the [top]* news headlines?
Tell me more about the first | second |...| fifth headline
e.g., Tell me more about the second headline
What are | were today's | yesterday's [sport] scores?
[sport] : [major league] baseball
        | [national] basketball [association]
        | [national] hockey [league]
e.g.1, What were yesterday's basketball scores?
e.g.2, What are today's national hockey league scores?
What was the score of the [team name] game?
[team name]: MLB, NBA, or NHL team name
e.g.1, What was the score of the Red Sox game?
e.g.2, What was the score of the Laker's game?
Stock quote [company | index name]
e.g.1, Stock quote S&P 500
e.g.2, Stock quote Google
Flight status [airline carrier] [flight number]
e.g.1, Flight status United Airlines 10
e.g.2, Flight status Southwest Airlines 2188
Define [word]
e.g., Define Lexiphane
What's the meaning of [word]
e.g., What's the meaning of life?
What is [amount] [currency 1] in [currency 2]?
e.g.1, What is 150 British pounds in U.S. dollars?
e.g.2, What is 1 Euro in U.S. dollars?
How many [units 1] in a [units 2]?
e.g.1, How many ounces in a cup?
e.g.2, How many feet in a mile?
What is [the] [thing to calculate]?
e.g.1, What is 1 plus 1?
e.g.2, What's the square root of 57?
e.g.3, What's the cosine of pi divided by 2?
(Stop talking) | (Be quiet)
Start talking | speaking
Stop running
Stop repeating what I say
Stop saying incoming texts
Are you listening?
(Tell a joke) | (Say something funny)
Say something wise
Good morning | afternoon | evening
How are you?
From now on you can call me [your name]
e.g., From now on you can call me Fred
From now on I will call you [Cognito's name]
e.g., From now on I will call you Jane
Hi [Cognito's name]
e.g., Hi Jane
What's your name?
What's my name?
What time is it [in [city name]]*?
e.g.1, What time is it?
e.g.2, What time is it in Paris?
e.g.3, What time is it in Paris, Texas?
What day is it
When is sunrise | sunset in [city name]?
e.g.1, When is sunrise in San Diego?
e.g.2, When is sunset in Paris, France?
| 'or' or 'one of'
* optional
¹ All reminders appear as calendar entries in your Google account.
² All notes and tasks appear as task entries in your Google account.

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³ Place Types

accounting
airport
amusement park
aquarium
art gallery
atm
bakery
bank
bar
beauty salon
bicycle store
book store
bowling alley
bus station
cafe
campground
car dealer
car rental
car repair
car wash
casino
cemetery
church
city hall
clothing store
convenience store
courthouse
dentist
department store
doctor
electrician
electronics store
embassy
establishment
finance
fire station
florist
food
funeral home
furniture store
gas station
general contractor
geocode
grocery or supermarket
gym
hair care
hardware store
health
hindu temple
home goods store
hospital
insurance agency
jewelry store
laundry
lawyer
library
liquor store
local government office
locksmith
lodging
meal delivery
meal takeaway
mosque
movie rental
movie theater
moving company
museum
night club
painter
park
parking
pet store
pharmacy
physiotherapist
place of worship
plumber
police
post office
real estate agency
restaurant
roofing contractor
rv park
school
shoe store
shopping mall
spa
stadium
storage
store
subway station
synagogue
taxi stand
train station
travel agency
university
veterinary care
zoo
natural feature
point of interest
transit station

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FAQ

  1. Which synthetic voice should I use?
  2. When should I install a synthetic voice?
  3. Cognito doesn't understand me very well. What should I do?
  4. What's meant by the colored microphone shown by Cognito in the status bar?
  5. Do I need to stay in the initial Cognito graphical page to use Cognito?
  6. Why does it sometimes take Cognito longer to respond or not at all?
  7. Why doesn't Cognito recognize some of my contacts?
  8. How do I shut down the Cognito service?



Which synthetic voice (Text-To-Speech or TTS) should I use?

It depends on whether you're willing to pay for a natural sounding voice and the desire for natural sounding speech.

Google offers free synthetic speech for your Android phone. However, it doesn't sound very natural for versions of Android prior to Jelly Bean (4.1). There are two parts to the Android Speech package: the Data Installer and the Language Data. Download and install the SpeechSynthesis Data Installer first from here. Then download and install your preferred language data from here.*

A superior natural language synthetic speech engine is available free from IVONA, but is currently only available in Beta form, meaning it is still under development and is occassionally prone to errors, such as periodic delays. It also consists of two parts: IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ and IVONA languages. Download and install the Text-to-Speech HQ and a language from here.*

Another superior natural language synthetic speech engine is also available for a small fee from SVOX. It consists of two parts as well: Classic Text to Speech Engine and a language from here.*

* Cognito currently only supports English.



When should I install a synthetic voice?

It's best to install a synthetic voice on your phone while Cognito is not running.

Your phone may already have a sythetic voice. Check Settings / Voice Input & output / Voice output / Text-to-speech settings.



Cognito doesn't understand me very well. What should I do?

Resist the temptation to hold the microphone close and talk like a robot. Cognito's voice recognition is designed to be used naturally. Hold the phone a few inches away from your mouth and talk as though you're speaking to a real person about 3 feet in front of you. And speak naturally as you would to a real person. When curious about where the nearest McDonald's is located, would you ask a real person "Find McDonalds" or "Where is the nearest McDonalds?"

Also be sure to set Voice Recognition to train and work better with your personal voice and intonations. In Settings, tap 'Voice input & output', then 'Voice recognition settings', and check 'Personalized recognition'. Slowly but surely, the voice recognition software will be able to recognize your particular voice and be able to work better each time you use it. You might not notice much improvement in transcription accuracy at first, but over time your device will adjust to your personal inflections provided you are its only user.

If your Settings do not match those mentioned above, ensure you're running Google Voice Recognition via 'Settings' → 'Voice input & output' → 'Voice recognition'. If not, stop Cognito, install Google Voice Search ( http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.voicesearch ), get it working, and then start Cognito.



What's meant by the colored microphone shown by Cognito in the status bar?

Cognito displays a microphone icon in the status bar in one of 4 colors, each with a varying number of bars corresponding to the signal strength to Google servers. The more bars, the better! Ideally, a green microphone is displayed.

A white X may also appear over the microphone icon. This occurs when Cognito is waiting for a response from a Google Voice Recognition server, is processing your request, or currently speaking.



Do I need to stay in the initial Cognito graphical page to use Cognito?

No. The initial display is for showing the introduction wizard, setting preferences, and starting the background service Cognito uses for voice recognition and response. Once you've started the Cognito service, you may exit the Cognito graphic display by pressing your phone's Back button.



Why does it sometimes take Cognito longer to respond or not at all?

Cognito relies on Google's voice recognition capability, which runs on remote Google servers that require a good Mobile Data Network for access. *

How quickly Cognito responds is entirely dependent on data network access quality and signal strength. As long as you have at least 4 bars of 3G or 4G access or a good WiFi connection, you should not experience unreasonable delays. However, at times Google's Voice Recognition servers are overloaded and may result in especially long delays or none at all. In such cases, Cognito reverts to the normal Cognito Service icon in the Status bar. Simply say the same thing as before and Cognito should resume just fine.

* Android Jelly Bean (4.1) offers a built-in voice recognition capability, but Cognito does not yet leverage this capability … coming soon.



Why doesn't Cognito recognize some of my contacts?

Cognito has a pretty vast vocabulary, but it doesn't know every possible name, especially when the spelling or pronunciation is unusual. However, there is a workaround. Android provides fields for phonetic first, middle and last names in Contacts. See the table below for building names using phonetics.

Also be sure to set Voice Recognition to train and work better with your personal voice and intonations. In Settings, tap 'Voice input & output', then 'Voice recognition settings', and check 'Personalized recognition'. Slowly but surely, the voice recognition software will be able to recognize your particular voice and be able to work better each time you use it. You might not notice much improvement in transcription accuracy at first, but over time your device will adjust to your personal inflections provided you are its only user.

If your Settings do not match those mentioned above, ensure you're running Google Voice Recognition via 'Settings' → 'Voice input & output' → 'Voice recognition'. If not, stop Cognito, install Google Voice Search ( http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.voicesearch ), get it working, and then start Cognito.



How do I shut down the Cognito service?

Swipe down the Android Status Bar and select Cognito. The Cognito graphic display will be shown. Then touch the right-most button at the bottom of the graphic to stop the Cognito service.



US English phonetic pronunciation

Table 1. Guide to the US English phonetic alphabet: vowels

Sound

Symbol

As in

Suggested

Comments

"ae"

AE

add cat pan

ae

The short "a" sound.

"ah"

AA

Are drop content

ah

Rarely wrong but sometimes an open 'o' sound is used instead of the 'ah'. So spell 'mot' as 'maht' to change it from 'moat' to 'mott'.

"uh"

AH

One come

'Uh' or double the following letter

Very rarely wrong; sometimes an unstressed sound is used instead. So spell 'Merom' as 'Meromm'.

Short "o"

AO

All off caution

or

Very rarely wrong. Try spelling 'Audi' as 'Ordi'.

"au"

AW

How about

Ou au ow

If 'ow' is mispronounced as 'oh' try switching to 'au' or 'ou'.

"eh"

AX

enable moment

eh

The unstressed "eh" sound as in "moment" or "enable" but not as in "enter".

"er"

AXR

another over or

er

The unstressed "er" sound as in "another" over or "or" but not as in "her ".

Long "i"

AY

Fire why eye

Y ai add an e

Rare but if 'Byron' is mispronounced more like "Birron" then try spelling it as 'Bairon' or "Byeron" or even 'Byre-on'.

"eh"

EH

Enter pleasant

eh

Rare but replacing the vowel letter or letters by 'eh' usually works. For example if 'pleasant' were mispronounced as "pleesant" then 'plehsant' corrects it.

"er"

ER

Bird turn her

er

Never observed but 'er' should work.

Long "a"

EY

Train eight A

Ai ay ey

If 'Wacome' is mispronounced "Wah-come" then one of 'Waicome' 'Waycome' or 'Weycome' should fix.

Short "i"

IH

If it pick

ih

The short I sound as in "it" "if " or "pick" but not as in "lasting". 'Piro' should be pronounced with a short I and is mispronounced as "pyro" then 'pihro' should work.

"ix"

IX

discuss saving budgeted decided

ix

The unstressed short "i" sound as in "discuss" "budgeted" "decided" or "saving".

Long "e"

IY

Any he obvious

Ee ey ie

If 'Matrio' was mispronounced as "mah-try-oh" then 'matreeo' 'matreeoh' or 'mahtreeoh' should fix.

Long "o"

OW

Quote open go

Oh ow oe

'bow' should be right for 'Beau' and 'Dohl' should work for 'Dole'.

"oi"

OY

Avoid enjoy dive why

oy

The long "i" sound (or oi sound) as in "avoid" "employ" "dive" or "why".

Short "u"

UH

Good full could put

uh

The short "u" sound as in "good" "put" "full" or "could". If 'Clough' should be pronounced as in "cluf" then 'cluhf' should work.

Long "u"

UW

tooth blue view use you

Oo yoo

The stressed long "u" sound as in "to" "use" "you" or "view". Try 'Bloomehn' for the German pronunciation of 'Blumen'.


Usually nonvowel sounds are not a problem unless the name is of foreign extraction, as in the British pronunciation of Schedule (Schxhule).
The table below lists the consonant sounds if you need to select a different sound than that produced by the automatic pronunciation rules.

Table 2. Guide to the US English phonetic alphabet: consonants

Sound

As in

Comments

"b"

be able

The "b" sound as in "be" or "able".

"bd"

sob tab blurb

The hard "b" sound at the end of a word.

"ch"

cheap child

The soft "c" sound before "h". The "ch" sound as in "cheap".

"d"

and David

The "D" sound as in "David" or "and".

"dd"

The "D" sound at the end of a word.

"dh"

the either

The voiced "th" sound as in "the" or "either" but NOT as in "thesis" or "thing".

"dx"

butter greater regarding order

The very short T or D sound as in "butter" "greater" "reagarding" or "order".

"d$"

A dummy sound that marks the beginning and end of a sentence.

"f"

father rough

The soft "f" sound.

"g"

again peg

The hard "g" sound.

"gd"

log tug

The G sound at the end of a word.

"hh"

here who

The "h" sound.

"jh"

jeep roger

The soft "g" sound.

"k"

because dark scale

The "k" sound but not the J sound at the beginning of a word.

"kd"

cake

The "k" sound at the end of a word.

"L"

level parallel

The "L" sound.

"m"

am must

The "m" sound.

"n"

final not none

The starting "N" or the unaccented N in the middle of a word as in "final" "not" or "none".

"ng"

bang think singing

The "n" followed by a "g" or "k" sound.

"p"

adoption amps rapid

The "p" sound but not at the beginning of a word.

"pd"

pop tarp mop

The "p" sound at the end of a word.

"r"

abroad brace read

The "r" sound followed by a vowel sound in the same syllable.

"s"

sit circus decide

The "s" not followed by an "h" sound.

"sh"

action shade splash

The "sh" sound.

"t"

adapter retry let

The "t" (not "th") sound not at the beginning of a word.

"td"

date quit

The "t" sound at the end of word.

"th"

thesis thing

The unvoiced "th" sound but NOT as in "the" or "either".

"ts"

The "ts" sound at the end of a word.

"v"

eleven improve very

The "v" sound.

"w"

frequent way question anywhere

The "w" sound.

"y"

emulate yes senior you

The "y" sound that leads into a vowel.

"z"

pans goes zero

The "z" sound.

"zh"

Asia pleasure Zho

The soft "z" sound.

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My Cognito

My Cognito is a sound board coming soon that will allow you to share your thoughts and ideas for new features and enhancements to Cognito. Help shape Cognito to make it more useful for you!

In the meantime, Cognito will give $100 to whoever produces the best promotional video on Cognito submitted prior to September 15, 2012. Your video will be hosted on Google Play and You Tube! Simply produce an electronic video at least 2 minutes in length showing how Cognito makes life easier for you and send an email to cognito@jazzitouch.com mentioning you have a video you'd like to submit. We'll arrange for you to be able to upload it. Please do not embed videos in the email you send. Stay tuned here for the results. Best of luck!