Lionel announces voice control of trains!

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Lionel announces voice control of trains!
Posted by KeithL on Sunday, November 15, 2020 5:36 PM

During this afternoon's TrainWorld virtual roundtable event, Lionel's president, Howard Hitchcock, announced Lionel Voice Control (LVC), which will enable voice control of trains via Lionel's LionChief App.

The 5.0 update to Bluetooth makes this possible.

A small icon will be added to the LionChief App that will enable voice control of throttle, direction, volume, dialogue, couplers, bell/horn/whistle, smoke, sequences, and time controls (what will that be, I wonder?).

Howard said that LVC will be officially introduced in Lionel's first 2021 catalog.

Oh, LVC will be backward compatible with all Lionel engines controllable by Bluetooth.

Sounds like another fun—and free—option for running our trains. Kids, too, may get into it, not to mention folks (older or disabled) who have difficulty manipulating remotes, touchscreens, or even transformers.

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Posted by dlagrua on Sunday, November 15, 2020 5:56 PM

I'm still running 100% conventional and can't relate to all these gadgets. The operation is to pull the lever and watch the trains run around the layout.

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Posted by cheapclassics on Sunday, November 15, 2020 6:59 PM

Good evening all,

I am with diagrua on this one.  You move the lever to speed and slow down.  You push the buttons to sound the horn/whistle and the bell, like the deity and Joshua Cowen intended.  Sort of like the mouse with the computer, you need to use a mouse on a mouse pad, again like the deity and Bill Gates intended, not that infernal touch pad most laptops have (ugh).  I hope everyone has a good day.

Keep on training,

Mike C. from Indiana

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Posted by Michael6268 on Sunday, November 15, 2020 9:29 PM

Saw that. I had no interest in Blue Tooth.  Absolutely no interest in Voice Control.  My limit was the remotes.  

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Posted by smokey1 on Monday, November 16, 2020 7:52 AM

Oh I can see how this will work, There you are at a club meet with 4 others running there trains 1 tells his engine to go in reverse while another is telling his to go forward and the engines hear both and just sit there budging forward and backwards or the one suppose to go forward goes backwards and the one suppose to reverse goes forward. 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, November 16, 2020 8:17 AM

I'm with the other guys, and then some.  Strictly conventional for this kid, and no "gee-whiz" gadgets to break down or go looney on my layout.  Sorry Lionel, not interested.

Besides, how do we know "Voice Control" won't be like "Alexa" and listening to you all the time and reporting back to Lionel?  Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!   Wink

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Posted by Art Young on Monday, November 16, 2020 2:14 PM

I've always had voice control on my layout: "Dad, turn the trains on! Dad, make the whistle blow! Dad, put the BIG engine on the train!".

It works quite well. Whistling

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Posted by smokey1 on Monday, November 16, 2020 2:29 PM

Thumbs Up

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Posted by Billwiz on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 4:16 PM

Most of my trains are post-war conventional control.  I only have a Polar Express Lion Chief.  But...this might be cool. Especially when we can again put on our train show.  It might be fun to use voice commands.  Maybe it is not everyone's cup of tea, but hey, why not?

 

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 4:25 PM

Billwiz
But...this might be cool. Especially when we can again put on our train show.  It might be fun to use voice commands.  Maybe it is not everyone's cup of tea, but hey, why not?

 

I agree.  There are lots of things in model railroading that are available, but not used or needed by everyone.  This would be in the same group.

There will be a group that will love this and use it, and there will be another group that sees no need of it.

As for other locomotives on the same club layout, I assume that just as DCC runs each locomotive after its number is addressed, this would operate in the same way.  A command would have to be preceded by saying the locomotive's number.  The other locomotives would ignore the command.

York1 John       

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 9:43 PM

Lionel had voice control of a sort over a half century ago didn't it?  The key is that it did not really react to certain words just to sound and there had to be hard consonants to make it work.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, November 19, 2020 9:34 AM

dknelson

Lionel had voice control of a sort over a half century ago didn't it?  The key is that it did not really react to certain words just to sound and there had to be hard consonants to make it work.  

Dave Nelson

 

It wasn't Lionel, I don't think.  It was an after-market accessory back in the mid-1960's. You spoke into a microphone and the pulses from the same were supposed to act like the "forward-neutral-reverse-neutral" button on a transformer.  We had one when I was a kid and yes, it didn't work very well.  I've still got it, believe it or not.  It's up in the attic,  I'll see if I can dig it out later. 

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Posted by lionelsoni on Thursday, November 19, 2020 9:52 AM

It's the "Audio Engineer" by Electro-Nuclear Devices.  Here's an old topic about it:

http://cs.trains.com/ctt/f/95/t/189782.aspx

Back in the fifties, a name like "Electro-Nuclear" suggested a high-tech outfit to the gullible.

You had to choose a command with the right number of syllables to advance the e-unit from its present state to the state that you wanted.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, November 19, 2020 11:37 AM

Found it!  Here it is, although the box mine came in is different.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/electro-nuclear-ge-audio-engineer-2016653698

Commands had to be given like this:

Word.     Spoken as.

Stop       Sto-PUH

Forward  F-FOR-ward

Back up  Back-u-PUH

Start      Star-TUH

Proceed  PUH-roceed

You can imagine how well that worked.  Maybe if you had a big, booming adult voice it was OK, but for a kid?  I don't think so.

There's no Zip Code on the Electro-Nuclear Devices company address, so it's pre-1964.  Original retail price (stamped on the box) $1.19.  

"Electro-Nuclear Devices."  I'd be scared to buy a kid something with THAT name!

"Be the first kid on your block to blow it up!"

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