Dragon NaturalSpeaking Software Review.
We’ve all heard the name, Dragon NaturalSpeaking and we all know this is one of the top voice recognition software packages currently on the market. Believed to be one of the market leaders many of us may have grown up having heard of the software. But the question is is how many of us have tried it?
It it has been some years now since I last tested voice recognition software, having tested it previously I generally found that it was quite difficult to use primarily because of accents the software simply could not distinguish various words, it simply couldn’t pick up on some words that were being dictated to it. As I’m pretty sure we all know back in the day dictation through software was pretty difficult, due to this simple problem, however voice recognition is now becoming a serious contender in not only voice recognition but also in voice control. Voice recognition is now being used to simply control entire systems. At the time of writing this review as you would expect the Dragon NaturalSpeaking platform, is believed to be one of the best voice recognition software packages available, on the PC platform.
The Dragon NaturalSpeaking software comes complete with a great set of features with excellent accuracy in the voice translation engine and commands to text functionality. Through our review the speech engine currently outperforms most other software packages we are reviewing. Whilst some voice recognition software takes a few seconds to respond to either command or voice to text commands the Dragon NaturalSpeaking was pretty much instantaneous. Executing commands smoothly and accurately is obviously a definite bonus for voice recognition software, basically making it possible to control your entire entire Computer System via verbal commands.
The command navigation capabilities of the software has so far put it at the top of our rankings. Currently we’ve only found one other voice recognition software package that has this kind of functionality. Whilst many other programs have tried to replicate this command system via the use of the customized verbal commands it appears so far Dragon NaturalSpeaking once again has it in the basket. The dragon NaturalSpeaking Software basically has a built in system whereby buttons, software menu’s being used are simply identified by a relevant number system, therefore you simply enter into the commands system and state your requested number (menu item) and activate the function you require.
It obviously goes without saying that these convenient features have a really enabled Dragon NaturalSpeaking to retain their best ranking in our review so far.
- Fast response time
- Simple navigation commands
- Numbered commands
- Accurate dictation
Whilst we found a the command functionality was a pretty impressive tool within Dragon NaturalSpeaking, there is actually one function we found that we feel is better than the command functionality. This function is simply called voice profile, in basic this allows you to teach Dragon NaturalSpeaking to adapt to your voice, your accent and therefore your local idiosyncrasies. This therefore provides the tools to make this program far more accurate for each profile is created.
In order to create a profile you simply read some text in order for the program to learn how you say common words. Dragon NaturalSpeaking then takes what it has learned from hearing you say and integrat it into your voice profile. Making it far more accurate at identifying exactly what you say. Although you can start with a basic voice profile this software actually comes complete with further voice training samples. As you would perhaps expect the voice to text samples get more complex by using more obscure words, therefore making the recognition of your voice for more accurate. Whilst to many people this may be a time consuming exercise, we would highly recommend that all voice training modules are completed. Simply because the benefits of this also seriously improve the program and therefore give it a far better understanding of your voice. With the voice training modules completed you will find that the software understands your voice far better and will therefore create fewer mistakes and errors.
In order to use his voice recognition software there is a basic and unobtrusive taskbar that allows you to customize commands whilst also displaying the status of a microphone (standby, off, lives). As with most toolbars they can tend to get in the way, but you can simply click on it to minimize it or perhaps even hide it.
As mentioned previously this dragons software package comes complete with a pretty versatile commands system. One of the biggest advantages to this command system is a simple fact that you can actually controlled most of the standard programs on your Computer System and also allows you to use the Windows menu system by voice recognition.
Through the command system are you can open and close programs, used the Windows navigation system as well as surfing the web in your browser. Surfing the web in the past has perhaps been one of the most complex tasks for voice recognition, however with Dragon NaturalSpeaking you can simply state the name of the links you want to activate. The software is simply able to identify what you want to do through the words that you use to be associated with each the link. The only fault the we could find was browsing the Internet was when it came for using or trying to navigate through Flash heavy websites. Perhaps this is something that could be corrected in a future update of the software.
It is a pretty well known fact that we all talk and speak faster than we can type, this is where voice recognition software comes into its own.
Unlike most voice recognition software packages Dragon NaturalSpeaking allowed us to speak and talk at our regular speed, there was no need to speak at a slower pace than we would normally do. We actually found that the more standard you’re speaking pace is the better the software performance. Although we must mention that in the review we did find that standard speaking speeds the program missed some of our shorter words, such as “to” and “the” so it may therefore be necessary to emphasize the shorter words.
We also found the Dragon NaturalSpeaking voice recognition engine understood our punctuation commands rather nicely. This therefore means far less document editing once you’ve completed your dictation. Saving you time and perhaps even money on proofreading.
In order to test the accuracy we carried out in basic, two tests, one of which was standard dictation at a slightly slower pace than the natural speech pattern. The second test was completed using a more natural voice pattern and speaking place. We were surprised to find the Dragon NaturalSpeaking software actually performed slightly better at the natural pace.
Ease of use:
In our review we found the Dragon NaturalSpeaking had been configured and designed significantly with the ease of use in mind. Perhaps the hardest thing to overcome was the number of commands that you need to understand before we were able to use a software with the level of proficiency. Although we did actually put this down to simply being the fact that most of us were perhaps not fully accustomed to the software from the word go. As time progressed and we became more accustomed to the program it very quickly became easier to use. This is not only due too our understanding of the software but also the software understanding our voices.
Having said that we did actually find that for the use of the menu bar and the use of commands menus we were actually able to improve our experience and understanding of the Dragon NaturalSpeaking Software, therefore improving the speech engine as we progressed forward.
We have actually found very surprisingly, that not only has the voice recognition software generally been a fantastic improvement on its predecessors that we are now questioning could this be the future of computing. In conclusion the Dragon NaturalSpeaking voice recognition software, does actually managed to bring together the combination of voice recognition and system controlling through verbal command with a very positive outcome. The combination of all the software features within Dragon NaturalSpeaking actually make it very easy to consider making the keyboard and mouse redundant hardware.