Watch BlackBerry 10 voice control in action [video]

By Adam Zeis on 18 Jan 2013 01:21 pm EST

After brining us a sweet hands-on video for the BlackBerry Z10 earlier this week, the Telekom Presse is back again with more awesomeness. This time we get a full-on video featuring voice control in BlackBerry 10. The video runs through using voice control to perfom various task and it works amazingly well as far as we can see. Keeping in mind that this isn't the final software, it's pretty cool to see just how well it does and know that it should be even better at launch.

So far it looks like you can do common tasks like sending an SMS message, making a phone call and even playing music. The video also dives a bit into some things we've seen before like the predicitve text keyboard and also the mapping application. Some good stuff in here overall, so take a few minutes and check out the video above.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums 

Source: Telekom Presse  

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Watch BlackBerry 10 voice control in action [video]


I thought so also. A little smaller than most coming out now. It is bigger than iPhone 5 though. Probably took them a lot of brainstorming on JUST the screen size! I thought iPhone 4 was a perfect phone and it was smaller than this and I've had Galaxy Note and now the S3. This might be just right for a lot of people. And, they say at least 6 phones are coming out this year? Probably 'safest' size to roll out first

The man has large hands and that's all there is to it. A 4.2/4.3 inch is plenty large enough for a PHONE. Not everybody wants a phablet so don't assume whats ideal for you is ideal for everybody. For me, the size of this phone is about as large as I'm willing to go. Dont be surprised if you see phone sizes start to shrink down again. The 4.5 to 5 inch phones just look ridiculous to me.

guys, his hands aren't that's an optical trick due to the relative distance between the camera and his hands and the camera and the phone...

Just saying...

Can't imagine what they are going to have left for Jan 30th kick off? But I imagine they have kept a few mind blowers from the Dev units.

My thoughts exactly. There should be no reason that the maps don't load faster though. Hopefully RIM keeps tweaking the maps to improve the load times.

are you people serious? Until you understand what is happening when it is loading, you can't jump and say there is no reason it should load so slow. Of course they would tweak it to the most optimal point, but again you can't just see something without knowing what's happening in the background to say there is no reason. My goodness you people are seriously picky.

I have a right to be picky if I'm going to buy the product. To presume we don't know what's happening in the background is a bit much. Even the Google Maps app on my Torch9800 loads faster than what was shown in the video, despite how many apps I have running simultaneously.

It's already pretty clear that bb10 is now more productive and powerful, but if they want to appeal iOS user base they have to make a way much better design than this, don't get me wrong i love blackberry, but it needs more gradients shadows and transparency, right now it looks like flat and boring wp7/8, and let's be honest, even tough iOS is shit, they know how to design.

As an iPhone 5 user going to bb10, I agree to an extent. They really so need to polish the OS a little more, some light effects, as well as gradients, shawdows, and transparency as you stated. Those little changes would be a big upgrade and make bb10 more appealing to the masses.

I hope they actually have already done this and it will be part of the final OS on release. I understand its there 1.0 of bb10 but they should go all in on styling. I find the z10 will have more features and be a more productive phone then my iPhone 5, but one thing I loved iOS and hated on android was how refined and detailed iOS is, from fonts to buttons to the menu style.

I definitely have to agree with you on the OS and the tiny nuances in the look. I was really hoping for an outstanding build quality like on the level of the 9900/iPhone 5. Not feeling the the plastic back at all, the back on the storm/torch9850 or the 9900 would have been great. Oh well maybe on the Z10 2.

I think it would be wise on your part to hold off on judging build quality until you actually hold the final product instead of looking at it on web pages.

Well we all know the back of the Z10 is made from that plastic similar to the 9800/9810. Im not a big fan of that, its a step back from the 9900. One of the biggest criticisms I hear about the GS3(a comparable competitor) is how plastic it feels. And judging on the photos(which I agree with you it might not be 100% right to judge off of online pics) I think its safe to say the chassis isn't made from a solid piece of aluminum like the 9900. Hopefully I'm wrong. I jut want the best for the Z10/X10, no expenses spared.

Not a fan of the siri like voice. Nor do I see myself using the voice control, maybe when I am driving or something. Good to see it is working well.

Load times depend on the quality and speed of the cellular network OR wifi connection. Hardware has NO affect on it at all.

The Astonishing Tribe is KICKING @$$! The transitions and the smoothness of the way everything works within BB10 is absolutely AWESOME!


Could they have picked a worse button to start it? Why oh why can you not have voice commands started by a VOICE COMMAND! Sorry but we have very strict laws about hands free in Canada. If you're connected to your phone via bluetooth, why can you not just say a command to start this process? If you have to click buttons etc, it defeats the purpose.

a quick press of my bluetooth's call button activates the voice command on my 9900. This phone will hopefully do something similar. You do realize that something will ultimately have to be pressed in order to let the mic know that you are ready to say something? It wont just be active at all times trying to decipher whether or not you are speaking to it.

The QNX Bentley shown off at CES had voice command activated by saying "Hello Bentley." (No buttons at all). So it is possible to implement, but I imagine it could be a pretty big battery killer on a phone to have it actively listening to your every word so that it can activate voice command if need be. My hope though, is that they implement a "car mode" on the phone that you can activate while driving that shuts down the screen while in motion, establishes that phone as the top priority for bluetooth handsfree pairing, activates, and activates active listening for voice control.

On the QNX Bentley you have the alternator keeping all accessories in the car powered. On a mobile phone that "always on mic" will (as you mentioned) be a pretty big battery killer which will then upset the ones that don't really care much about the feature. The car mode that you mentioned is clever, but you do notice how you will have to press a button (or screen) at one point or another?

actually this feature is already implemented in the galaxy S3. when at the lock screen you can say "hi galaxy" and it will wake up s-voice. also when within s-voice to alert it to listen to your command once again you say "hi galaxy" but it does strain battery so you have the option of turning this feature off or on.

This looks like the same Nuance/Dragon engine driving this as drives the Samsung SVoice and the Dragon/Nuance apps. If that is the case you will be able to activate by voice if you don't mind the battery trade off you can count on it - every iteration of this engine has that ability

I think you would want to be able to select this type of function as I would not want to have my screen go dark if using the map feature. What would be nice is to have a sensing feature that locks the keyboard while in motion for those who still think they can text and drive.

You have to remember this is just a demo by some dude on pre-release software. Of course there will be different ways to launch it...

"why can you not have voice commands started by a VOICE COMMAND!"

Consider this.

If that were to be implemented, the device would have to listen to-and send to their server-everything you (and everyone in earshot) says at all times.

Can you imagine the fiasco it would raise? Remember when Street View cars were logging wifi info?

BBs would be banned in every level of government and business, not to mention that consumers wouldn't buy because all of their private conversations would be recorded.

No, an activation button is just fine.

So, if I understand you correctly, my BlueAnt speaker phone, which is true hands-free, and actives when I say "BlueAnt, speak to me" is on the verge of bringing down western civilization?

Somehow I don't think so.

how would you feel if your computer could hear everything you say? If you said "Computer turn on" no security, always traceable.

Could they have picked a worse button to start it? Why oh why can you not have voice commands started by a VOICE COMMAND! Sorry but we have very strict laws about hands free in Canada. If you're connected to your phone via bluetooth, why can you not just say a command to start this process? If you have to click buttons etc, it defeats the purpose.

Live in Winnipeg, Manitoba where its not allowed to talk on your phone while driving unless you have hands free

If your using Bluetooth in your car you will be able to tap your blue tooth key and the voice commands will be available to you, that's currently how it works on my current Blackberry 9630® I can make a call by saying the name or number, check status items

This New Blackberry 10 you will be able to be driving push the Bluetooth key and have allot more option, do all of the above and send text write email etc etc

Go BB 10 cant wait, just have to keep harassing MTS to hurry up and announce when they are getting BB 10

As an iPhone 5 user, I can say Siri wasn't as big as a flop as users made it out to be. Siri is a voice Assisant and does all that very very well. I send texts/iMessages, make calls, set reminders, set alarm clocks, book appointments in my colander, launch apps, search for restaurants and so forth, I do use it everyday and hope bb10s is as good if not better. Siri was bashed by many especially have the release of google now, but google now is search engine dependant, they are both very differen. I also feel google now will be on blackberry soon

You're one of the lucky ones. One of the big knocks against Siri was how inconsistent it is - it works great for some people and not well at all for others. I can't use it - it doesn't understand me at all - but it seems to work alright (but not great) for my wife.

And it's not just Siri, it's their entire voice recognition system. When I had my Storm 2 hooked up to my car's bluetooth, it had no problems deciphering who I was telling it to call. Now that I have my iPhone hooked up, it gets my requests wrong probably over 2/3 of the time. I can't wait to go back to BB.

I didn't say there's no inconsistent because there's many, English is not my first language either and It does have its problems but usually works more then it has issues I'd say(more pros then cons). I do agree its the entire voice recognition system in general that needs work, and hope blackberry has a better system in place then apple. Ive already pre-order/reserved my z10 with Rogers , iOS has become stale to me, and dont like android due to past experiences.

"iOS has become stale to me"

Precisely why I didn't like the iPhone... simply put, it's boring! Minimalist designs aren't always the way to go, and sometimes, it comes off as stiff and robotic.

And forget about Android - their whole OS/infrastructure is a total mess. I'm not even going to get into that one.

I've made appointments with my colander before, usually to let it know when the pasta will be ready to drain. (Not true - that bowl with holes waits at my beck and call - who the heck does it think it is to demand an apointment before draining things for me???)

(I know you meant calendar - I just chuckled when I read that.)

"book appointments in my colander"

Your spaghetti strainer is good for keeping track of appointments?

Damn You Auto Correct......... lol

"I also feel google now will be on blackberry soon"

I'm not so sure; Google seems to be pulling their apps off the shelves for non-Android users. Every phone manufacturer running a different brand of OS has begun to implement their own maps software, because it seems that Google wants to implement exclusivity for their software. I'm not saying Google Now for BlackBerry is impossible, but there's maybe a ~40%-60% chance that it will happen. I'm not really sure, since I haven't read anything confirming or denying, or suggestive of either, but don't be surprised if it doesn't happen.

Despite its popularity I've never seen anyone actually using Siri. I work with a lot of people and most have dropped iPhone and migrated to Samsung.

It seems to be an all or none proposition with Siri. Most of my friends with iPhones rarely use it but the ones who do - love it and use it all the time. Definitely the minority though - probably count the folks I know who use it on one hand.

Google Now definitely has more functionality IMHO

I have an iPhone 4s, and I can tell you Siri sucks. The recognition is terrible, hardly ever got anything right when I or anyone else did try to use it. Google did a much better job with their implementation of the voice assistant thing.

The voice command looks quite responsive. I wondered how quickly it would respond to your voice when done speaking. It looks just as fast, if not faster than siri. I'm sure this will have its own lag too, voice command technology isn't quite instant, yet.

I've never been a fan of the concept of voice control, other then when I'm driving or operating heavy machinery. Otherwise its pointless.

I hope this pairs nicely with my cars bluetooth system. I'd like to be able to activate the voice recognition with the button on my steering wheel that right now activates the call feature while paired with my phone.

Also I have to upload a seperate address book into my car's stereo (toyota tacoma 2012), which I haven't done because that's gay. When I say "call _____) it searches the entune for the name. I hope with BB10 it will search my phone for the name

The directory upload thing depends as much on the car as it does on the phone. My last car couldn't use the phone's directory, and it didn't matter which phone you had. My current car seems to work great with both BB (at least with my old Storm 2) and iPhone.

yah after BB10 comes out im goona look into something better I think. Maybe an alpine head unit or something. But Ive seen a friend use siri through his 2012 ford. So Ill wait and see how it all works.

Voice App looks fast and responsive. This video makes it look better than Siri, but I have to play with it to see...

As a business and personal BB user, I welcome the voice control feature as it'll be very nice to have the ability to send SMS/BBMs, emails and search maps all while driving and not having to worry about doing it before driving somewhere.

OMG EXCITING!!! I've seen soooo much of the phone i wonder what RIM has to show on the 30th? maybe their gonna show us all the hidden apps they been working on, bbm video, and what else hmmm.. gotta wait and see!! so excitedddd!!!! BB10 FTW!!!!!

* BlackBerry by choice *
Looks great. Can't wait. As long as the apps are there i see no reason why BlackBerry won't be making a HUGE come back!

Voice control seems to work very well. But who uses this ? I dont know anyone and have never seen anybody using voice control.

There is just one scenario. You re in a car and want to do something. But as long as you have to push a button to do so, it still is useless.

The one thing I don't remember seeing anywhere is the browser (or Twitter, or FB, or any apps) in landscape mode - I'd like to see the differences in text size, display, etc.

(Not bashing this video at all - everything looks GREAT!)

I have generally found that using voice command right on the phone in a nice quiet room it works perfectly. Show me how it works in a moving car, maybe with the sun roof open, over a bluetooth ear piece or speakerphone (I am very partial, as above, to the Blue Ant S4). That's when I get very frustrated in general with these systems.

Also does anyone know if this has functionality without a data connection? Have you been able to use it on the Dev Alphas now?

Hey did anyone else notice that the ringtone for Herr Mayer is the Samsung "over the horizon" song :-). Talk about cheeky!

You just watch . EVERYBODY is going to want one of these. So cool, and awesome.

Long Live RIMM !

*drooling* It would be Super Awesome if the BB next generation devices come with gesture -based command feature similar seen in Mission Impossible 3 movie. It will be very useful feature especially for people who use sign language.


Don't understand a word of what this guy says but the demo of BB10 and Z10 functions are fckin awesome, like he says Wunderbar !!! can't wait till February and no wonder stock price of Rim keeps on zooming up! Its been worth the wait..

Can we assume the person that he is calling is actually himself? Lol.. Gotcha....
And I can see in the near future videos on youtube how BB10 is asking the hands of the voice control for marriage or some stupid questions and conversate with it like siri's videos.... Lol...

Trouble with using voice is that it would be ver annoying to people around you. Can you imagine a room full of people all talking to their phones? Wouldn't be much privacy. Only good of you are alone.

Mos phones support this and you NEVER see people using it. It is a must have for salesmanship but not important in day to day life.

I CANT WAIT! The midway hump is over (talking about January) now its almost time to count the days on my hands!

Is it just me or did that seem like "natural speech" technology.

If so, +1 on anything iOS and Google offers.

Awesome! Just wish response time was faster, it's taking a long time compared with just hand gestures.

Do you know if it using the same process as Apple Siri, where the recording is sent to Apple-servers for processing, or if the processing is done locally on the device itself?

Holy cow! The voice commands are pretty sweet and I would love to see it in english but I'm more impressed with how fast that browser was. Man I can't wait to get one of these things in my hand in Feb. Verizon hurry and open pre orders already!

I hope BlackBerry 10's voice commands allow you to speech-to-text long email/text messages; I've always wondered why nobody (at least, to my knowledge) has actually implemented this. Yeah, I'm sure there may be apps that do just that, but why not implement and bake it in to the phone's OS?

I had Dragon speech-to-text on my BB 9700, and while it requires you to speak super clearly, it really helped out a lot. (When I spoke as clearly as possible in a slower tempo, I was able to achieve up to a 95% accuracy.) I would like to see this feature come standard, and BB 10 would be a great place to start.

Correction: I just realized that this was already demonstrated at 1:35 in the video. Still, I hope it'll allow you to speak in speech-to-text mode for as long as you wish.

i can tell you i am very interested in this, and hope it works better than expected. i sell bmws and i am often driving so booking appointments while driving, sending emails/texts by voice would be great, ( pressing 1 button vs several while driving is a fair trade in my books).

i also run a small moving/hauling service with my truck in my off time where i am going to a new address all the time. bb maps on my torch is one of my most used apps but i would love a more efficent way to utilze it. ( turn by turn isnt really for me, since i always have music playing, so i dont hear it)

cant wait

Did anyone notice that there is a Microphone Icon next to the send key when he is texting or is that something else ?

Here's something even more awesome from this video; i don't know if anyone else noticed but when he opens up blackberry world 6:53 mins into the video there's a icon with a red box and a F for an app called "Flix". I may be wrong but this may be netflix!? You know that one app all of us BB users have been dying to have on our phones!

It's a streaming application that enables netflix to be streamed over a wifi connection to your tablet or smartphone.

It's a phenomenon caused by distance and reflection of both cameras and phone's display. His hands aren't THAT big.

I know. But it's still funny. :D

The perspective isn't much different in the video I posted thou, and it looks perfectly fine to me. :)

This could become our new running gag/meme. I hope Das Hans comes out with a Part 3 of ze BB 10 preview.

I use voice control to make phone calls while on the bike. I wouldn't text/call and bike at all anyways, it's too much of a risk of crashing and getting myself badly injured.

30th seems like a long time... Can't wait to own this device already, with all this videos rolling out.... Gosh! Anyways great feature and I bet rim still has a lot under their sleeves, just hoping for more awesome features.

would have been nice to have that sought of voice control to text in bbm now that would have been unique.