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C# for Programmers, 2/e

ISBN:
0-13-134591-5
© 2006
pages: ~1350

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This tutorial introduces Microsoft Agent—a technology for enhancing Windows applications and Web pages with interactive animated characters that can speak to users and respond to user input via speech synthesis and speech recognition.

[Note: This tutorial (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7) is an excerpt (Section 17.14) of Chapter 17, Multimedia and Graphics, from our book C# for Programmers, 2/e. These articles may refer to other chapters or sections of the book that are not included here. Permission Information: Deitel, Harvey M. and Paul J., C# FOR PROGRAMMERS, ©2005, pp.692–706. Electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.]

Introduction to Microsoft Agent (continued)
The following example, Peedy's Pizza Palace, was developed by Microsoft to illustrate the capabilities of the Microsoft Agent control. Peedy's Pizza Palace is an online pizza shop where users can place their orders via voice input. The Peedy character interacts with users by helping them choose toppings and calculating the totals for their orders. You can view this example at
agent.microsoft.com/agent2/sdk/samples/html/peedypza.htm
To run the example, you must go to www.microsoft.com/msagent/downloads/user.asp and download and install the Peedy character file, a text-to-speech engine and a speech-recognition engine.
When the window opens, Peedy introduces himself (Fig. 17.28), and the words he speaks appear in a cartoon bubble above his head. Notice that Peedy's animations correspond to the words he speaks.
Fig. 17.28 Peedy introducing himself when the window opens.
Programmers can synchronize character animations with speech output to illustrate a point or to convey a character's mood. For instance, Fig. 17.29 depicts Peedy's Pleased animation. The Peedy character-animation set includes eighty-five different animations, each of which is unique to the Peedy character.
Fig. 17.29 Peedy's Pleased animation.
Look and Feel Observation 17.1
Agent characters remain on top of all active windows while a Microsoft Agent application is running. Their motions are not limited by the boundaries of the browser or application window.

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