Voice Interface in Shifter Workflow

Starting with software version 1.4.10 the built-in workflow tab includes a voice interface. If enabled, this interface allows user to issue voice commands for key workflow activities:

  • Compound State
  • Crystal State
  • Experiment Outcome (fail / mounted)

The voice interface is enabled by default and buttons with microphone icon (see figure below) will react to voice commands. For example, if the user says “clear” this will result in software “clicking” the button clear.

Voice-Enabled Buttons
Voice-Enabled Buttons

Please note: the voice interface will use language installed in your copy of Windows and for the currently logged on user. If your configured language is not English then the voice commands may require additional configuration or change of language to English. Read below for more information.

Detailed configuration of voice interface (including localisation) is available in the following sections.


1.1.1      Setting up headset and computer

Ensure your computer is enabled for voice recognition. Search Microsoft.com or visit:



Bluetooth headset with stand
Bluetooth headset with stand

Headset set-up: connect your headset, then search in windows for “Manage Audio Devices” option (control panel), click under “Recording” and ensure your headset is selected as the “default” input.
The software will be using only the default input so if this is not configured well the voice recognition performance will be poor.

Set your headset to be DEFAULT microphone/input
Set your headset to be DEFAULT microphone/input

1.1.2        Enabling or disabling Voice Interface (Permanent on-off configuration).

Voice interface is enabled by default in software but can be disabled in the Shifter Configuration/Set-up tab by changing the “VoiceControlEnabled” parameter to false (voice interface disabled) or true (voice interface enabled). This parameter can be found under the “Voice Interface” section.


1.1.3      Enabling or disabling Voice Interface (Temporary On/Off) – “Voice Control” button

To enable/disable voice recognition temporarily whilst operating software (e.g., if the voice recognition is not helpful for a particular session or headset is not available) then click on the microphone icon.

When the software is restarted the voice control button will go to the default (configuration) setting.

1.1.4        Set-up and Localisations

The voice interface has been configured and built for computers using English as their default language. If your computer or user are configured to use some other language it is recommended that you switch to English.
It is possible to use other, local, languages instead of English but this is not being actively tested and may not work. The instructions on how to configure voice interface to use users’ local language is below.


Please obtain quality Bluetooth headset for users. It is recommended that individual users log-on to computer with separate accounts (i.e. not using shared accounts) as any voice training will be stored within users’ windows profile.


Text configuration. By default the voice-enabled buttons will use text displayed on the button as the voice command (e.g., if the user says “clear” the software will click the voice-enabled button with “clear” text on it). However, this can be configured to meet different requirements or other languages. All commands and prompts are available in Shifter Configuration/Set-up screen under “Voice Interface” section. Any button can take one or more commands, for example the setting for VoiceControl_CommandMounted (“Mounted” button) is “mounted” by default. However, the user can configure more than one verbal command for this button by entering semicolon-delimited string (without any spaces!). For example, the user can configure VoiceControl_CommandMounted to be “mounted;ok;pick”. This would enable three verbal commands to trigger this button: Mounted, OK, and Pick. The user can also translate into local language.


1.1.5      Voice Training and Troubleshooting

If the voice command has not been recognised the software will (by default) repeat the command and ask the user to “try again”.


It is recommended to configure both the computer and currently logged on user to use English language as English is used for software development and testing.


If the voice recognition is not helpful for a specific session or user then use the Voice Control button to temporarily disable voice interface as described in section 6.4.3.


If the operator feels additional voice training is required (regardless of which language is being used) then it is recommended to use Windows 10 facility for this. Search Microsoft.com on how to this. Steps for training speech recognition training are available here: