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Voice dial is a feature provided by telephones in which calls can be initiated with the user speaking the contact name or the digits comprising the telephone number. Apart from telephones, smartphones and cellphones also support this feature. Voice dial is a useful feature as once the contacts are configured, dialing the phone numbers or memorizing them is not required for the users.
Voice dial is also known as voice-activated dial.
The voice dial feature makes use of speech recognition technology. It also allows the use of voice commands but may need activation, which largely depends on the telephone equipment. There are two types of voice dial, namely, speaker dependent and speaker independent. The former type responds to recorded contact names and requires voice dial entries to be created earlier by recording. By contrast, the latter type does not require any recording and the contact name pronounced would be matched with the closest name found in the phone book entry and then dialed. Unless otherwise specified, the speaker-dependent type is the one found in most phones with a voice dial feature.
Applications are available, including third-party ones, to assist smartphones with voice dialing. Voice dialing is useful in circumstances when a user needs to go hands free such as when working, driving, etc.
In some cases, more effort might be required for voice dial, as it makes use of speech recognition compared to finding and calling the contact manually. Background noise can also impact voice dial.