blogging without using a keyboard (using windows built in speech recognition)

Posted on Sat 20 March 2010 in Root

307-speechrecognitionmicrophone.pngI've been looking at buying dragon naturally speaking from an IT supplier for typing on to the computer. It is software I heard of many years ago that converts speech into type as you speak. I had an mail offering it for only 30.00 which is less than I remember. However I like to test things before I buy them especially when it comes to software. I searched the Internet but couldn't find a trial version to download. Just as I was about to give up I discovered a webpage that mentioned windows built in speech recognition.

So I'm sitting at home to blog for the first time ever without typing a word. I've been through the tutorial and so far I'm finding it very accurate. In the first paragraph I Can Count Three mistakes, I'm sure that as I continue to use it accuracy will improve over time.

It isn't quite plain sailing, I'm having a little trouble remembering all the commands but that's no different to when I first learned to use a computer. (quick note, I was brought up with a local dialect where I use the word learnt, but the computer heard learned. I'm sure there's a blog Post about observations of my local dialect somewhere here). One thing I am glad of is that my headset microphone has a microphone mute button. The software does it by saying stop listening to stop listening, but sometimes while I've been thinking of what to say and start speaking it thinks it misheard my silence as a word and asks me to repeat.

As a beginner with speech recognition the other problem I've been having is getting the cursor mixed up with an action. For example, a moment ago I managed to select a whole section of text inadvertently and then change the format by telling the computer to use a button on the webpage.

I think I'm a long way off using this is a regular way of inputting text. I just tested my typing speed on the website and got a result of 72 words per minute. I think my current speaking speed is actually slower than 72 words per minute as I'm waiting for the computer to display each sentence as I've spoken. Those of my friends who have seen one of my presentations may know that one of my biggest floors (and there are many I know) is speaking too fast. Maybe I should record all of my presentation through speech recognition as a way of slowing myself down!

Now to see if I can publish this blog post without touching the keyboard ...