Rabbers

Voice Command (and other Gadgetry)

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I was interested to read posts in the Jag Owner Buys a Lexus thread currently in the IS Forum in which some owners mention that they never use the Voice

Command function.  The RC I currently drive is my third Lexus with Voice Command, but despite familiarity acquired after a lot of initial perseverance and

patience, I still don't use it as often as I feel I should.  It works well enough, and certainly offers better safety than manual fiddling in situations that demand

maximum concentration on the road.   However, even if the number of times it asks me to repeat my commands (with concomitant leaps in my blood 

pressure) is now much lower as the result of generational improvements and, no doubt, of my having learned to articulate more clearly, my desire to use it

remains far from instinctive.  And yet, as in the case of other gadgetry that I don't regularly use and might therefore objectively consider unnecessary, I would

be reluctant to omit it from the specifications list of my Lexus.  This thinking has become more sentimental than logical over time and probably dates from

almost two decades ago when the main reason why I first bought a Lexus was the convenient availability of a full-optionals package where most competitors

merely offered long lists of expensive separately priced ones.

 

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I really wonder why this was invented in the first place. I never ever use it, would not know why. Could be helpful if i was driving the car from the backseat but i can quite easily reach out and touch buttons to do what i want, faster and definately more user friendly. BMW now have invented Gesture Control. If you want to turn up the volume you make a circular movement with your hand in the air... Finally they introduced something that everybody was eagerly awaiting!   

Come to think of it there are plenty of irrelevant gadgets in my car that i never use or do not even realise they are on. Heated front windscreen ( or wipers dont know), Rear sunscreen automatic, switch off parking sensors, dvd player, allsorts of settings in satnav, most settings in soundsystem, pre programmed settings for 3 drivers, electric seat adjustment, sound generator, ECO setting, paddle shifts behind steering wheel and propably some i forgot. I could happily live without all those and thats quite some money isnt it? It is in my car as it was in my car when i bought it from the dealers showroom.   

what do you consider as a useless gadget?

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23 minutes ago, dutchie01 said:

what do you consider as a useless gadget?

Auto high-beam. My car doesn't have it, but I'm convinced that it doesn't work very well.

Any time I see an oncoming car belatedly dip their lights, it's usually a premium marque that probably has it equipped.

As for voice command, I tend to use it fairly often. Mainly to alter the temperature as I can just say "temperature XX degrees" for instant results instead of pushing a button countless times to only move half a degree at a time.

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Voice control. NEH!  Tried it on the IS-F, got frustrated - never used it again. 

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I use voice a lot. Mainly for music and phone calls.

Sent from my STV100-4 using Tapatalk

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11 hours ago, dutchie01 said:

... I can quite easily reach out and touch buttons to do what i want, faster and definately more user friendly.... etc., etc....   

I wish I could disagree and thus be seen as staying ahead of the technology curve, but I can't, though my attitude to VC is perhaps more mixed                   

than Bernard's.   VC enables you to keep both hands on the wheel when performing actions that would otherwise prevent you from doing so.                                                          

As such it is both useful and convenient albeit superfluous to any strict need insofar as it duplicates manual controls without substituting them.  

Even so, despite my acquired familiarity with VC and the ease of using it for brief and simple actions, it still generally comes more naturally to me

to press buttons or tap the touchpad.  The more I think about this the more I realise that I instinctively and illogically regard the VC system as a

sort of middleman or third party standing between me and the car whereas the traditional manual controls provide direct personal communication

and a simultaneous result without any need for me to issue precise instructions.   For much the same reasons I have an attitudinal block to using

the voice command function in my Iphone, since I cannot yet grasp the concept of speaking TO a phone rather than THROUGH it.

 

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To be honest i think this could be age related as well..  I am too old school to adapt to these modern and in my eyes non sensical inventions, but i can see my 19 year old niece using apple car play, voice control , typing apps on her phone and driving at thesame time!  Times oh how are they changing..

 

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Rabbers, something completely off topic but i hope you can share your experience. I am currently driving an IS300H and in a few months it will have to go. I do not want to leave Lexus and am tempted between an RC or an NX.  Good looks or common sense?  I will take them both for a testdrive soon but what was your biggest disappointment with the RC coming from an IS?Only 2 doors was that an issue, does it make the car a pain to live with? Is the ride almost thesame?

    

 

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Doesnt work with my yorkshire accent

Like ever...

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On 4/5/2018 at 8:35 PM, dutchie01 said:

Rabbers, something completely off topic but i hope you can share your experience. I am currently driving an IS300H and in a few months it will have to go. I do not want to leave Lexus and am tempted between an RC or an NX.  Good looks or common sense?  I will take them both for a testdrive soon but what was your biggest disappointment with the RC coming from an IS?Only 2 doors was that an issue, does it make the car a pain to live with? Is the ride almost thesame?   

Bernard:   An RC or an NX could never be considered a bad choice within its own terms of reference, which means you may end up regretting 

that you favoured one over the other - as is not infrequently the case with two nice things when you can't have both.   Personally, I'll never have

this dilemma because, generally speaking, I am not fond of SUVs (or Crossovers) regardless of their quality and levels of performance and have

never fully understood why machines whose ancestors were designed for the countryside have come to find such high favour among urban

dwellers.   I once had an NX as a courtesy car for the best part of a day, and although I found the ride uncharacteristically choppy for a Lexus,

I concluded that nobody who is predisposed to like this type of car and wants a compact premium model could fail to be happy with it.   It is

agile and perky in town driving, the cabin is comfortable and roomy (insofar as it adequately meets all basic parents-plus-two-kids parameters),

and its looks are striking.  Striking but not beautiful.   The RC, on the other hand, is both of these things and is unlikely to tire the eye for a few

years yet.  And whereas I imagine that changing to an NX from an IS could require a process of familiarisation within a whole new ownership

experience (including a possible review of one's own self-image), the change to an RC represents a straightforward transfer of preferences to

what is fundamentally a variant of the IS which, leaving aside considerations of exclusivity and aesthetic appeal intrinsic to a coupé, is only

marginally or not at all better in some key elements but runs out as a clear winner when assessed as a total package in which the handling 

and the stability at high speed are particularly impressive.  Yes, the RC has a few irritating blemishes such as a splatter-prone rear, water-

drips and dirt-traps etc., but these, now they have been abundantly described in this forum, are foreseeable by the few prospective purchasers

who might consider them serious enough to be deal-breakers.  Similarly, I doubt whether the issue of long and thick doors has in itself ever

prevented many people from buying a coupé, and the only solution is to try and choose your parking spots judiciously.  Only once have I been

completely blocked by an idiot parked too close on the driver's side, causing me to enter the RC via the passenger door and lever myself over

the centre console, removing my shoes in order to avoid damaging the fixtures (and surprising myself when, after much strain but no little

pride, I succeeded in my intent).  As coupés go, it would be unfair to describe the RC as an impractical car:  the boot is deep and quite capacious,

rear-seat access is good and made easy by the electric seats, and unless you regularly ferry volleyball players around, the rear leg- and head-room

is acceptable though not recommended for long trips.   Driver and front passenger comfort is excellent and the seats in the F-Sport version are

simply superb and look likely to remain in good condition in the long term.  In short, the RC does not live on its good looks alone and my

disappointments have been minor and very few.

 

 

 

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On 4/6/2018 at 11:26 AM, rayaans said:

Doesnt work with my yorkshire accent

Like ever...

I believe the user manual warns that the VC can be confused by regional accents though I reckon that the sort of verbal abuse I sometimes

hurl at it in my own fairly neutral accent after being asked to repeat myself might confuse it even more.  

Out of pure curiosity I once started a topic on the IS forum about the usefulness of VC navigation in Wales, where, because Welsh is not

included in the Lexus system's list of language options (thankfully, some of my English friends would say), many of the local place- and

street-names would not be recognised if pronounced correctly (which would in itself represent something of a problem for much of the 

local population).  That the topic got no replies I interpret as meaning that the people of Wales are too intelligent for any thought of

using VC to get to their destinations ever having crossed anyone's mind.

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17 hours ago, Rabbers said:

I believe the user manual warns that the VC can be confused by regional accents though I reckon that the sort of verbal abuse I sometimes

hurl at it in my own fairly neutral accent after being asked to repeat myself might confuse it even more.  

Out of pure curiosity I once started a topic on the IS forum about the usefulness of VC navigation in Wales, where, because Welsh is not

included in the Lexus system's list of language options (thankfully, some of my English friends would say), many of the local place- and

street-names would not be recognised if pronounced correctly (which would in itself represent something of a problem for much of the 

local population).  That the topic got no replies I interpret as meaning that the people of Wales are too intelligent for any thought of

using VC to get to their destinations ever having crossed anyone's mind.

Yes I certainly dont bother with it anymore.

However, I use bixby on my phone and it works perfectly - every, single, time!

Same with google assistant. I wish someone could just handover the whole infotainment system to google or something. I have no issues with it saying "Powered by android" on the screen when turning the vehicle on etc.

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5 hours ago, rayaans said:

....I wish someone could just handover the whole infotainment system to google or something....

Yes, it is surprising after so many years of criticism by users and reviewers that Lexus has never seen fit to go to an outside company to have the

infotainment system overhauled or even completely redesigned since the know-how appears to be lacking in-house.  The right time to do it would

have been with the introduction of the 10.3 inch display, but the opportunity has been missed.                                                          

 

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Doesn't that point to the possibility that people are buying the car in spite of, not because of, the Infotainment system?

Just how many more would be drawn to the marque if it had a whizz-bang system?

 

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18 hours ago, NemesisUK said:

Doesn't that point to the possibility that people are buying the car in spite of, not because of, the Infotainment system?

Just how many more would be drawn to the marque if it had a whizz-bang system?

 

Well its certainly not bad enough to deter from buying the car. I find it functional and fairly simple to use once you understand where everything is located. 

It could be a lot better though, and they have the means to do it - they just spend more time developing other stuff rather than the infotainment system from what I can tell.

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20 hours ago, NemesisUK said:

Doesn't that point to the possibility that people are buying the car in spite of, not because of, the Infotainment system?

Just how many more would be drawn to the marque if it had a whizz-bang system?

 

My own belief, which Lexus clearly does not share (:angry:), is that an improved infotainment system would add value across the range, making good

cars even better, and, as a result, boost overall saleability and give salesmen and advertising copywriters one more positive element to exploit.  In

order to quantify what increase in sales might derive from improving the system Lexus would first need to assess how much the performance of

the present one counts in any broader list of negative factors that may be preventing some disappointed first-time customers from subsequently

remaining loyal to the marque after having passively but wrongly assumed that the good car they were buying had infotainment of matching

quality - and I would be willing to bet that the majority of the customers thus being lost fall into the desirable young/high-income category and are

little inclined, unlike many of their older more tolerant counterparts, to forgive bad media technology.

 

Incidentally, I recall once reading, I think on a French Lexus owner's forum, that the infotainment system, or maybe just the navigation part of it,

is much appreciated by oriental users, especially the Japanese themselves, because what might appear counter-intuitive to us often constitutes

a perfectly logical sequence of operations for them.  Make of this what you will ....

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Rabbers said:

especially the Japanese themselves, because what might appear counter-intuitive to us often constitutes

a perfectly logical sequence of operations for them

After our recent visit to the land of the rising sun I can easily believe that. Those toilets!! :w00t:

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