A smart phone smart enough to answer incoming calls by voice.
March 13, 2014 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Due to limited mobility from a disability, I'm forced to rely strictly on voice commands to control a cell phone. Over the years, trying to find a solution for reliable hands free functionality in this area has been challenging. Anyone familiar with voice recognition in the past knows the capricious, quirky nature of the beast. It can be VERY frustrating and almost comical at times. Anyway, with today's processing speeds and the advent of Siri and Google Now, I can happily say that it's almost there for me. In fact, I give a 90% approval rating for recent experiences with the latest Iphone and Android products. The biggest obstacle now has been the necessity to hit the home button to trigger the lovely Siri. This last hindrance was overcome by none other than Google with their release of the Moto X -- which waits in standby mode listening for your command. I was so excited by all the reviews that I rushed out to buy my own. It turned out fantastically, but (and there's always a butt in these things) it came with another quirky disappointment. And this one is kind of surprising: The damn thing won't answer incoming calls by voice. I've looked thru all the settings and searched high and low for an app but to no avail. The closest I've come is an app that auto answers after one ring, but who wants that? What if I'm trying to dodge the ex-gf. Lol. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
posted by dthm42 to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It looks like you're not the first to ask this question. Here's a Motorola forum thread where it seems like the solution the asker came to involved an auto-answer app with a whitelist -- definitely less than ideal.

The crazy thing is that when the phone is in "driving mode" (as detected by the Motorola Assist app via GPS), it does have voice-activated answering. On the plus side, it looks like they're still releasing updates to Touchless Control, the most recent one just last week.
posted by mhum at 7:03 PM on March 13, 2014

Oddly enough, Samsung's Voice Control app on their phones has this feature (just found it on my Galaxy S4). Not sure if it's on the Google Play Edition version though. No idea on the Moto X, though.
posted by Aleyn at 8:53 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

This app claims to allow you to answer calls with a whistle.

This forum discussion suggests using an app like this that can put your android into car mode.

The Handsfree app allows you to answer, ignore, or reject calls with speech command.

FYI the relevant search keywords seem to be something like "android hands-free call answer".
posted by flug at 8:56 PM on March 13, 2014

Have you tried the Tecla Shield? It would allow you to control the phone and all of its functions using only a switch, which you can activate with any part of your body you can control... For example, you can use your mouth with a sip&puff straw.

Here is a video of a user controlling an Android phone completely hands free:

And here is another video of a user controlling an iPhone and iPad also completely hands free:
posted by jdoc at 9:44 AM on March 14, 2014

Ooops! I forgot to include the link to where you can learn more about the Tecla Shield. Here it is:
posted by jdoc at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2014

Response by poster: Many helpful leads guys: Mhum- I think a Touchless Control update from Motorola is going to be the ultimate solution. The recent update you linked to helps me better access my notifications. Hopefully my fix is right around the corner. Aleyn--I did notice my daughter's Galaxy S4 includes the feature in settings (I'm green with envy). Flug-- The specs for the Handsfree app got my heart pounding, but it's no longer available. The Whistle app was a good laugh. Lol. Jdoc-- The Tecla Shield is definitely something for me to pursue..but a little cost prohibitive at the moment. Thanks again for your time and efforts all.
posted by dthm42 at 7:13 PM on March 14, 2014

Don't wired phone headsets have an answer button? That seems like it would be easy to hack by connecting whatever sort of switch works for you. Or a less portable solution might be a cheap hands-free car kit (open it up and wire your switch to the contacts of the answer button)
posted by mmoncur at 6:29 PM on March 15, 2014

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