Thursday, July 24th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

SynthEyes 1407 adds new voice-control system

Andersson Technologies has released SynthEyes 1407. The new version of its camera-tracking software has a surprising addition: Synthia, a natural-language system that lets users control the software by talking to it.

Voice control? Tell me you’re kidding
We were, frankly, sceptical about Synthia when we started watching the demo video above.

And for the first few minutes, Synthia appears to be a Siri-style gimmick: while being able to say, “Camera view,” rather than switching view manually saves having to remember keyboard shortcuts, it’s hardly a time-saver.

But then things get interesting.

Not only does Synthia recognise commands like, “Flash and select the five trackers with the smallest lifetime,” but it’s history-aware, meaning that following up with, “Delete them,” deletes only those five trackers.

Create, edit or import rules to train the voice recognition
It’s a rules-based system – so you can set up your own new commands, or edit the existing ones – and it’s cloud-enabled, meaning that new rules created by other users can be broadcast to your copy of the software.

It makes use of Windows and OS X’s native voice recognition, so if your OS struggles with your accent, you’ll be out of luck: in the demo, Synthia struggles to distinguish ‘LightWave’ and ‘lightweight’, for example.

But still, it’s a genuinely powerful-looking implementation of voice commands, and one that, by the end of the demo video, is being used to automate some fairly complex tasks. Not great for shared offices, though.

Pricing and availability
Other new features in SynthEyes 1407 include the option for supervisors to add notes on a tracking shot, plus a variety of additional smaller features and bug fixes.

The software runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and costs from $299 to $999, depending on whether you buy the Intro or Pro version, a node-locked or floating licence, and which platform(s) you choose.

Updated 25 July: Andersson Technologies has been in touch to point out that Synthia is a general natural language control system, and responds to text commands as well as voice. Read the comment in full below.

Read more about SynthEyes 1407 on Andersson Technologies’ website