Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Even though voice recognition software has been around for years, many people still consider it to be more science fiction than science. Actually, voice recognition software, also called speech recognition software, has made great strides in the last few years. The technology is ready now. Voice recognition software has the capability of streamlining work flow, allowing to work as fast as one can speak instead of as fast as one can type and move the mouse.

The biggest advantage is the ability to do hands-free computing. This is of particular value for people who are not proficient in using a keyboard or are simply unable for physical reasons.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking, an affordable computer programme, not only takes dictation, it can also be used as a tool to open programs, send emails etc. without touching  keyboard or mouse.

Once installed on your computer, the program takes you through a speech-recognition session, designed to recognise your personal voice and pronunciation. Despite the program’s sophistication, it is easy to learn for young and old.  

NaturallySpeaking uses a minimal user interface. As an example, dictated words appear in a floating tooltip as they are spoken (though there is an option to suppress this display to increase speed), and when the speaker pauses, the program transcribes the words into the active window at the location of the cursor. The software has three primary areas of functionality: dictation, text-to-speech and command input. The user is able to dictate and have speech transcribed as written text, have a document synthesized as an audio stream, or issue commands that are recognized as such by the program.