Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a pioneer in speech recognition and despite being almost a niche product was already selling as an MS DOS application in 1990. Since the hardware during those times was not as powerful as it is today, it was necessary to separate each spoken word with a distinct pause. This was needed because there was no reliable way to break down a spoken sentence into separate words. With today’s powerful hardware and more sophisticated algorithms, Dragon Naturally Speaking claims 99% accuracy in transcribing naturally spoken English sentences without forcing the user to inject a pause after each word.

There are three main tasks or areas of functionality for Dragon Naturally Speaking:

  • Dictation where the spoken word is translated into written text;
  • Command where the spoken word is used to control the computer; and
  • Text to speech translation where a synthesized voice reads out textual data

With a more natural way of entering text into a computer, Nuance, the company behind Dragon Naturally Speaking claims that a 900 word essay can be inputted in 6 minutes by dictating. By comparison, the average user with a typing speed of 40 words-a-minute finishes a similar length article in 22 minutes.

Much has been written about how empowering voice recognition is to persons with disabilities. Imagine, a blind person able to write a full length article by just dictating! Similarly when the article is finished, by using voice commands, the computer reads aloud what the blind author wrote.

Voice recognition software brings much needed relief for the worker suffering from repetitive strain injury. She can slowly recuperate, rest her hands, and still not miss doing work on the computer.

The busy worker need not fret when away from the computer. Just dictate into a hand-held recorder and later connect it to a computer for transcription with the same 99% accuracy.

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