Convopi "The Conversation Piece", is a digital photo frame with cloud connectivity and a natural language interface. It accepts simple spoken commands like, "Convopi, show photos of Harry hiking", and displays a custom slideshow of photos from a Flickr account.
Behind its beautiful wooden frame, the Convopi prototype is a re-purposed laptop running Windows XP and a custom application written in C# .NET. This application makes use of the Microsoft System.Speech.Recognition and System.Speech.Synthesis libraries for speech recognition and text-to-speech capabilities, and the Flickr.NET API Library for searching and retrieving photos using the Flickr API.
For now, the prototype just allows users to access their photos in a quick and intuitive manner. For instance, our user Harry may want to quickly show a friend some photos of himself on a recent hiking trip. To accomplish this, Harry says the command word, "Convopi". Convopi listens for this word at all times and upon hearing it listens for the rest of a command. Harry then issues his command in plain English, "Show photos of Harry hiking". Convopi interprets his command (accounting for a wide variety of different phrasings), and queries his Flickr account for photos tagged with both "Harry" and "hiking". The Flickr API returns a list of relevant photo URLs, and these photos are downloaded, cached, and displayed in a full-screen slideshow. If no photos are found, this is reported via text-to-speech. At some point, Harry might wish to pause the slideshow in order to describe some detail of a photo to his friend. To accomplish this he simply says, "Convopi, pause". Other commands like "Back" and "Forward" are also available, and users can switch between Flickr accounts.
Future work on this project might include providing access to music and video services. Books and blogs could be read aloud to the user. Email and voicemail could be checked and replies dictated and sent. Lighting and thermostat settings could be changed with a single command. Ultimately, Convopi could become the centerpiece in a Star Trek-inspired future where the world is at your command.