Talk is cheap, but if you are looking for a dependable and reliable speech-to-text solution that can be used for both consumer and business applications, then you’ll have to pay the price and invest in something more than a low-cost download or feature-sparse wanna be.
Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking is not the lowest-priced product in this class, but it has been on the market for a while, so it has a history and it is a very powerful piece of software. The company has put in a lot of time and effort into refining the technology and has developed a fairly wide product line that targets consumers who may want to dictate a few letters and maybe that killer novel, or professionals who are fastidious about correctly and smoothly transforming speech into text. In fact, Nuance offers a version for the legal profession, so you know it has to be accurate if the Perry Mason’s of the world trust their affidavits to it.
Don’t be put off by the manual’s use of the word ‘training’, which you’ll have to do to let the system get used to your speech pattern, minor lisp or peculiar regional accent (not my Boston lilt, of course).
With each release, the accuracy level of Dragon Naturally Speaking has increased as did its ability to keep pace with fast-talking users. The software also proved to be adept at converting second hand dictations — that is, speech that may have been recorded using another device like a digital recorder and then re-input into the Dragon software.
Standard features of the software include natural language commands for such business-standard applications as Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. Bluetooth microphone support and even wireless dictation from remote Apple iPhones and Android smartphones equipped with a small Nuance app is also possible.
Bottom line is this is one very neat and useful system that can be relied on to eliminate the keyboard roadblock and create a fluid pathway from mind to manuscript, and that’s not just talk or heresay.
Read the full review of Dragon Naturally Speaking.
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