Wolf Paulus' Journal

Inspire • Innovate • Invent

This is my blog, where I share quick thoughts, links, and ideas.

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Voice User Interfaces

A more diversified mobile device landscape requires us to rethink established UX patterns. For next generation mobile devices, Voice for input and output, will be significant. Traditional UI-Widgets simply don’t work on wear-ables and in-car systems.

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The Highway Platform

An aggregator that analyses, summarizes, synthesizes, and augments information, found in various data feeds. Information incl. text, images, GPS, and seismic data is then pushed into a highly customized CMS

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About Me

My name is Wolf Paulus, a photographer, hiker, hacker, technologist based in Ramona, California.

Inspire and innovate, emphasizing voice user interfaces, speech recognition and synthesis, NLU, and AIML.

I am focusing on embedded, mobile, and open source technologies and help accelerating the discovery and adoption of emerging mobile technologies.


I created the Java-based open source XUL Engine SwixML, which Sun’s CTO called “The strongest straightforward design of declarative UI implementations”.

SwixML represents ideas that today are heavily re-used in Google’s Android SDK. (Graphical User Interfaces are described declaratively in XML documents that are parsed and rendered into UI widgets hierarchies at runtime.)

But I have create so much more software, I’m extremely proud of.



A lot of my work evolves around early technology prototyping. Still, I’m trying to put some ideas into real world mobile applications.

Take a look at Artist on Android, the Horsemen of Speech Recognition, or other apps that I have published under the Techcasita Productions brand in Google’s play store.

Cloud Services

Most mobile applications consume some sort of cloud service. Speed is extreme important for Voice User Interfaces to work well, which means you want to do as much as possible on-device. However, speech recognition accuracy and speech synthesis quality often requires to implement these services in the cloud. Related services that I have recently implemented as cloud services include aggregation, text summarization, and sentiment analysis.


I’m appointed to the advisory committee for the Mobile App Development Certificate at the University of California, Irvine, and occasionally speaks at conferences and user groups on topics ranging from Embedded Technology to Declarative Programming, emphasizing UI Generation at Runtime, and everything Voice User Interface related of course.

Have a look at some slide from my most recent talks.


Many new concepts that I implement in mobile applications, are communicated best through video clips or short films; and I’m not talking about simple screen grabs.

Take a look at some high quality short HD films that I have created over the last few months and years.


Amateur professionalism, a concept used since 2004, describes an emerging sociological and economic trend of people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards. Well … that pretty much describes how I look my photography work today. If you like, take a look at some of my photos and the stories behind them, at


Mobile Voice Conference 2014

The fourth annual Mobile Voice Conference took place at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, on March 3rd-5th, 2014.
Opening the Mobile Voice Conference, Robert Weideman, GM and Executive VP at Nuance, stated in his keynote address that building an intelligent multichannel virtual assistant, delivering personalized customer service via a human-like conversational interface, built on their Nina technology, requires a collaborative effort from Nuance’s consulting team and the client’s engineering team. Nuance would probably be doing 40% of the work. While he thinks that the Nina platform would eventually evolve and be made available as an SDK, it isn’t something he sees happening anytime soon. Knowing Robert, from the days we were both working at Cardiff Software, (where he served as VP Marketing), those numbers and facts are absolutely trustworthy.
Advancements at an alternative approach for building an adaptive spoken dialogue systems, namely AIML 2.0 (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language), were explained by Mike McTear, author of the just released “Voice Application Development for Android” book and Professor at University of Ulster Belfast Ireland (Spoken Dialog Systems), where the Loebner Prize 2013 / Turing Test competition took place. Mike mentioned to me that tools for efficiently training bots, i.e. automatically feeding information into knowledge bases, is actively being worked on and should give AIML a real boost.
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Google Now Launcher

Google Now LauncherFinally, the Google Now Launcher is available for all Nexus and Google Play Edition devices.
While you may not yet find it in the play store, it is available through this link:

After installing the launcher and accepting it as your default HOME app, you know, just say “Ok Google” the home screen is is always listing now …

Simply swipe to the left, to get to your Google Now Cards.

Prevent automounting volumes in OS X

If you have multiple hard drives connected to your Mac, or maybe you have multiple partitions on a single hard drive, by default, OS-X will mount all those volumes at boot time.

In case you don’t want this to happen, and instead mount one only on-demand, when needed, maybe with Disk Utility, here is what you need to do.

Start by opening the Disk Utility app in your /Applications/Utilities folder. Select the drive or partition you don’t want to have auto mounted and click the info button. Now copy the Universal Unique Identifier string and open the terminal, edit or create the /etc/fstab file and insert the following statement, replacing the UUID with yours of course:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

UUID=12345678-1ABC-1CDE-1FGH-123456789012 none hfs rw,noauto


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