Voice recognition software: finally ready for prime time

Earlier this year, I posted about my discovery of the Dragon Dictation app for the iPad. I dictated a post directly into Dragon dictation on my iPad and then cut and pasted into Pro PR.ca.

Since that time, I’ve used Dragon on both my iPod Touch and iPad. If anything, I’ ve had even better results on my iPod Touch than on the iPad. But still, I do most of my writing on my PC and my notebook. So, when I saw that Nuance has released version 11 of their PC program, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I thought I’ d give it a try.

I last used a dictation program on my PC a decade ago. At that time, I found I needed to correct so many words that the dictation program just wasn’ t of any real benefit to me.

However, the newest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking absolutely blows me away. I’ ve been using it for the past two weeks. I don’ t think I’ m exaggerating to say that it is 99% accurate, maybe better. In fact, I’ m dictating this post using Dragon and it has made only two errors: it wrote ” NaturallySpeaking”  as two words, ” naturally speaking” and it wrote ” may be” instead of “maybe.” In both cases, it spelled these words correctly in this paragraph when I was more careful about my pronunciation.

Bottom line: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 achieves a degree of accuracy that makes it faster and more efficient to dictate first drafts of documents than to write them.

If you haven’ t looked at dictation software for your computer for the past few years, take a look at the current generation. Voice dictation finally is ready for prime time.

  • I think voice recognition is going to be huge in the future. I remember seeing a presentation from MSFT years ago and they were talking about the huge amounts of resources are being invested in voice recognition in China because typing in Chinese is still so much slower than speaking. In English, we can type only slightly faster the the fastest typing, so the benefits to the market in China are greater than they are in the English world.

    Also interesting how Google has been using voice search to sharpen their voice recognition code so I would suspect they are going to be ncluding this as a feature in gmail soon….

    • Danny, I hope you’re right about Google pushing voice recognition into new areas on our desktop and our handhelds. With voice recognition and ubiquitious video, content creation is becoming much more immediate and immersive.

  • Ellis Westwood

    I definitely agree, Joe. I tried Dragon 5 years ago and wasn’t impressed, but just got the Dragon app for my iPhone and think it’s superb. The accuracy is high (even with my UK accent) and I really like the built-in features that allow insertion into an email, or sharing on Facebook/Twitter.

    • Ellis, “even with your UK accent?” Isn’t yours the “real” English? 😉