If youâ€™ve never had a chance to try out text input via speech recognition, Jon Udell has captured his own attempts at using the latest release of Dragon – NaturallySpeaking 8. He was pretty upbeat about the experience and you can see why here – just wait for the text to unfurl and self-correct or propose word solutions. He concludes:
It’s been a couple of years since I tried dictation, so what you’re seeing in that video is basically a new user of the product learning not only how to dictate but also how to edit with voice commands. Training, prior to this video, was minimal. I spent a few minutes reading a prepared text. But I declined the offer to have Dragon absorb samples of my writing, and just dove right in. The result was, by far, the best out-of-the-box experience I’ve ever had with this technology.
Subsequently I let Dragon read all of the weblog postings I’ve written in the last couple of years. Following that, I dictated and sent an email message, reasonably efficiently and in a completely hands-free manner. That’s something I’ve never done before.
Will I become a regular user? Probably not. I’ve learned to manage my RSI problem with a regime of stretching and exercise. I can still produce correct copy much faster with my fingers than with my voice, and much of the editing I do involves constructs (XHTML markup, programming-language punctuation) that aren’t (yet) open to voice command. Still, it’s great to know that if I want to give my hands a rest now and then, there’s an alternate way to produce prose.