Direct Voice Input

Direct voice input (DVI) (sometimes called voice input control (VIC)) is a style of human–machine interaction "HMI" in which the user makes voice commands to issue instructions to the machine. It has found some usage in the design of the cockpits of several modern military aircraft, particularly the Eurofighter Typhoon, the F-35 Lightning II, the Dassault Rafale and the JAS 39 Gripen, having been trialled on earlier fast jets such as the Harrier AV-8B and F-16 VISTA. A study has also been undertaken by the Royal Netherlands Air Force using voice control in a F-16 simulator.

The USAF initially wanted DVI for the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, but it was finally judged too technically risky and was abandoned.

DVI systems may be "user-dependent" or "user-independent". User-dependent systems require a personal voice template to be created by the pilot which must then be loaded onto the aircraft before flight. User-independent systems do not require any personal voice template and will work with the voice of any user.

In 2006 Zon and Roerdink, at the National Aerospace Laboratory in the Netherlands, examined the use of Direct Voice Input in the "GRACE" simulator, in an experiment in which twelve pilots participated. Although the hardware performed well, the researchers discovered that, before installation in a real aircraft their DVI system would need some improvement, since operation of the DVI took more time than the existing manual method. They recommended that:

  • The syntax must become simpler;
  • The recognition rate of the system must improve;
  • Response time of the system must decrease.

They suggested that all of these issues were of a technological nature and thus seemed feasible to solve. They concluded that in cockpits, especially during emergencies where pilots have to operate the entire aircraft on their own, a DVI system might be very relevant. During other situations it seemed to be interesting but not of crucial importance.

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