Even though voice recognition software has been around for years, many people still consider it to be more science fiction than science. Characters in Star Trek speak to their computer, but not us, right?
Actually, voice recognition software, also called speech recognition software, has made great strides in the last few years, meaning you’ll no longer need to wait until the warp drive is invented. The technology is ready now. Voice recognition software has the capability of streamlining your work flow, allowing you to work as fast as you can speak instead of as fast as you can type and move the mouse. And even though the keyboard and the mouse have been around long enough for everyone to become proficient at using them, there are still some advantages to using software operated by your voice instead.
The biggest advantage is the ability to do hands-free computing. If your job requires you to jump back and forth from your computer to other tasks, this type of software can allow you to do both things at once. It is also a huge benefit to those with limited mobility or some other kind of disability that makes it difficult to use a keyboard and mouse.
But the biggest advantage is speed. While there is a learning curve while you master the commands, once you are familiar with the program you can actually navigate your computer and dictate documents faster than you could with a keyboard and mouse. If you are in the market for voice or speech recognition software, read articles on voice recognition software and pursue reviews.
We based our review on a few simple criteria, all of which are important in a useful voice recognition program.
This specialized software has to have the right kind of features. For instance, there needs to be a voice training of some kind to help the computer become familiar with your voice. Other features like customizable commands and accent support also expand the usefulness of the program.
The primary function of this software is to let you navigate your computer by voice. That means you must be able to open and close other programs and use the features within them all by voice command.
The second most important function is dictation. This allows you to speak text into Word or other text editor. But the program must be good at recognizing speech in order to accurately transcribe it to text, so dictation is the true test of a good voice recognition program.
We tested the programs in dictation mode and assigned a score to each one based on how many errors they made in transcribing speech. A higher score means a program is better at handling all kinds of words. You can see the full results of our test in the Dictation Test article.
Ease of Use
Even if a program is excellent at interpreting your voice, it’s practically useless if the commands and menus are difficult to use.
By taking all these factors into account, you can accurately choose software that suits you. Depending on your needs, you may find some features are more important than others. For instance, some people might be more interested in commands than dictation capabilities, so be sure to consult the scores for each review category.
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|Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium||Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home||TalkingDesktop|
|Shows What You Said|
|Microphone Status Icon|
|Compatible w/ Bluetooth Headsets|
|Comes with Headset/Microphone|
|Open and Close Programs|
|Switch or Minimize Windows|
|User Manual / User Guide|