Did you know that the average computer user speaks up to three times faster than they type? There’s no longer any need to be slowed down by your keyboard when you can control your Mac using speech, with Dragon Dictate 2. Dragon’s state of the art software outclasses most other speech recognition software on the market, in terms of both accuracy and functionality. Not only does Dragon Dictate allow you to turn your speech into text, it goes one step further and allows you to control your computer and even move your mouse around the screen using just your voice, via a series of prescribed commands.
Boasting an incredible 99% accuracy out of the box, Dragon Dictate comes with a short 20 minute training program which enables it to adjust to the user’s voice and accent, and it can be trained to recognise multiple voices. Multiple audio channels can be added to a user profile to allow users to work with different microphones in different environments, and move easily from one to another without any loss in accuracy.
The system works via a set of intuitive and easy to remember commands, for example, “move mouse”, “mouse click”, “insert”, “select”, “uppercase”, “lowercase”, and so on. The excellent proofreading feature utilises the Mac’s impressive Text to Speech capabilities to read dictated text back to the user. You can also instruct your Mac to search the web, open a program, or even create bespoke voice commands to automate a complex series of actions, saving you time and effort with manual controls.
So why would you need voice control when a traditional keyboard and mouse system works just fine for most people? Speed is the obvious answer. However there are many other benefits; dyslexic users often prefer voice recognition to typing, and the impressive accuracy levels coupled with read-aloud proofreading is a real bonus. Vocal mouse control is an invaluable feature for users who have difficulty with fine motor skills. For the rest of us, there’s an enormous sense of freedom that comes from being hands-free. After all, most people talk far more naturally than they type and talking can help boost creativity. And of course for the restless, there’s a lot to be said for the ability to pace the room while you write.
Alicia Fox contributed to this article.