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Computer Command

A macOS app that allows an iOS device running Computer Satellite to control a Mac using voice commands provided. It's an experiment that's no longer maintained.

Satellite screenshot

Background

Computer Satellite was written back in 2012 as a primitive voice-controlled system. Once paired with Computer Command, it still works, albeit a little slowly. Plus, it uses those beautiful Star Trek LCARS computer beeps and that makes me very happy.

Unfortunately, I lost the PHP script that allowed Computer Satellite to talk to Computer Command, and so I reimplemented it in a much more modern way: using NodeJS.

Usage

Simply open the Computer Command Xcode project, and build and run.

Install node.js, open Terminal and run npm install in the ccmd directory to install the node modules. Then run node ccmd.js.

Set up Computer Satellite. Without it you can't do anything unless you set up a program to send AppleScript commands to Computer Command, or HTTP POST requests to ccmd.js.

How it works

  1. ccmd.js receives a POST request from Computer Satellite. The request body is a JSON dictionary with 2 elements: the command cmd (usually voice_ctrl) and the query q (what was said, e.g. "MUTE AUDIO").
  2. ccmd.js uses AppleScript to send the body to Computer Command, which gets passed to an instance of the Transceiver class.
  3. Transceiver's -processInput: method is called with the still-stringified JSON input.
  4. A whole bunch of -isEqualToString:, -hasPrefix: and -hasSuffix: methods are called in order to decide what the input query was.
  5. -processInput: returns a stringified JSON dictionary with its response.
  6. ccmd.js responds to the POST request with this dictionary.

Essentially, Computer Satellite transcribes voice and tells Computer Command about it. At this point, I hadn't managed to figure out an easy way to do text-to-speech on OS X; OpenEars was only available on iOS.

Adding actions

Simply add to the gigantic -processInput: method.

Final thoughts

This architecture obviously isn't the best, but it works. This was superseded by the Jarvis 1 architecture a few months after Computer Command was written.

About

A macOS app that allows an iOS device to control a Mac using voice commands. It's an experiment that's no longer maintained.

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