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SoftwareMedia Blog | July 24, 2014

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Speech Recognition Software Worth Talking About

Speech Recognition Software Worth Talking About

Speech recognition software has been around for a number of years and it has advanced quite dramatically. This type of software is remarkable in that it can differentiate voice patterns of specific individuals, including accents.  Individuals with reading, writing and speech impediments can use speech recognition software to compensate for their disabilities and can feel success with putting words into text, unlike never before.

Some programs require a ‘training session’ by the user where he or she speaks sections of text into the  system so the software can more specifically analyze that person’s speech. As a result, the software will fine-tune and ‘customize’ its ability to produce more accurate transcription.  Systems with this ‘training’ mode are called ‘Speaker Dependent Systems’, while those without the training option are referred to as ‘Speaker Independent Systems.’

If you have ever sent a text on your phone using voice commands instead of the keyboard, you have experienced a taste of speech recognition technology.

Speech Recognition Software Makes Life Easier:

1:  Speed:

This technology will allow you to streamline your workflow since you will be able to work as fast as you can speak instead of as fast as you can type.  And for most of us, we speak faster than we type, so imagine the time you will save, especially if your work requires a good amount of continual keyboard time.

2:  Multi-tasking:

If you enjoy multi-tasking while on the computer or wish you could multi-task more on the job, this software can fit the bill.  It allows for hands-free computing which would be especially convenient if you have assignments at work or at home that require you to constantly shift from your computer to other endeavors.

3:  Bridging Disabilities with Technology:

Individuals with physical disabilities would find this software invaluable.  For some, using a keyboard and mouse is either challenging or impossible.  Speech recognition programs would tear any of those barriers down and open up a whole new world for those who have only dreamed of using computers for work, emailing, instant messaging  or other leisure computer activities.

Purchasing Speech Recognition Software:

Before making that purchase, become familiar with various attributes of a prospective program to ensure you find one that best suits your needs.  Would you be more interested in commands or dictation capabilities? Would you want a ‘Speaker Dependent’ or ‘Speaker Independent’ system? Evaluate your needs, do some comparison shopping and keep the following in mind:

1:  Features:

Make sure the program includes a ‘voice training’ element so your computer becomes familiar with your voice.  In addition, customizable commands and accent support will serve to enhance the program’s usefulness.

2:  Commands:

Allowing the navigation of your computer by voice is, of course, the most important function of this software.  You’ll want to be able to open and close other programs and use their features, all by voice command.

3:  Dictation:

You must be able to speak text into Word or other text editor.  For that to happen, your program needs to be really good at recognizing speech to convert it to text.  Dictation capability is the litmus test of a high-quality voice recognition program.

4:  Usability:

Just because a program is awesome at interpreting your voice doesn’t mean it should, necessarily, qualify as the program to buy.  Ease of use is paramount when you make your consideration–commands and menus should be very user friendly.

Just like a good file sharing program like Rocket Software is becoming standard these days, voice recognition is becoming a staple in every home and pocket.   Do the research to find the program that meets your needs and enjoy being hands-free!

From file sharing software to fundraising, Karen continues to cover many topics in Nebraska as a retired educator. 

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