A Hands-Free Voice-Driven
Drawing Program

Susumu Harada, Jacob O. Wobbrock, and James A. Landay

VoiceDraw is a drawing program designed to be controlled using only one's voice. Since no mouse, keyboard or stylus is required, it can be used by people with various forms of motor impairments to express themselves creatively.

VoiceDraw is built upon the Vocal Joystick engine in order to process "non-linguistic vocal parameters" in addition to traditional speech recognition for providing continuous and fluid control of the virtual brush. Non-linguistic vocal parameters are voice features that do not correspond to a particular word or phrase in a language, such as changes in loudness, pitch, and vowel quality.

Video demonstration

A video demonstrating the features of VoiceDraw can be found here: (WMV).

Sample artwork

The following is an artwork was created by the first author using VoiceDraw, taking approximately 2.5 hours.

Click for a larger image

The following two pieces were created by Philip Martin Chavez, who refers to himself as an "Electronic Voice Painter." He has been creating artwork using Microsoft Paint and Dragon Dictate speech recognition software for over 25 years. Due to his spinal cord injury, Mr. Chavez finds speech to be an ideal modality to create his artwork.

The artwork on the left was created by Mr. Chavez using VoiceDraw over a 3 hour period. The artwork on the left is a similar piece he had created before using Microsoft Paint and Dragon Dictate, which he estimates took about 9 hours.

VoiceDraw (3 hours) Similar piece in MS Paint
from which inspiration drawn (9 hours)

Click for a larger image

Click for a larger image

The following drawings were made by children between the ages of 7 and 18 during a public exhibit at the University of Washington, where they were introduced to the program and the vowel sounds for only a few minutes. These drawings demonstrate that VoiceDraw can be used with very minimal training for creative self-expression.


S. Harada, J.O. Wobbrock, and J.A. Landay. VoiceDraw: A Hands-Free Voice-Driven Drawing Application for People with Motor Impairments. Proceedings of the 9th International ACM SIGACESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. Tempe, Arizona, October 2007. (PDF)

More info

For more information about VoiceDraw, please contact the author.