When typing an essay I always wondered if it’d be easier if I spoke it instead, because we all know speaking is so much quicker than typing. So when I was given the opportunity to review the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium, speech recognition software, I knew this product was perfect for me.
At first I was apprehensive; would a piece of software really be able to understand me enough to write an essay? Would I spend more time editing the mistakes than anything else? I put the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 software to the test and I was very surprised with the results.
The setting up process did take a while, however it was vital that this was done properly as otherwise it is likely the software may not work as well as it could. So although at the time I was being impatient, looking back I understand why it is a slow process and would happily do it again. It picks up on a lot of information about the user, for example the way you speak, your accent and the pace at which you speak. It also gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use the software, and provides lots of opportunities to test out what you have learnt to ensure you are ready to use the software alone.
The Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is multifunctional; it can be used on all Microsoft Office programmes as well as searching the internet, posting on social media sites and writing emails – you don’t just have to use it when writing an essay.
I first tested the software out on a Word document and I was very impressed with the accuracy level – it really does save time compared to typing even if you occasionally have to correct minor errors. The only thing I struggled with was remembering all of the commands, but after a little practise it became second nature. The headset was another surprise, I instantly assumed it would be uncomfortable and I’d get irritated with it. However after a while I forgot it was on and I just focussed on completing my essay.
Luckily for me, I prefer working at home than in the library as I’m not too sure how other students would find it if I was sat in the library talking to my laptop – distracting or what?! I also found that in nosier environments, the accuracy levels decreased slightly.
The Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is only versatile with PCs – if you have a Mac you would need Dragon Dictate. These products are part of Nuance’s broad portfolio of voice innovations that continue to define a new generation of intelligent systems and personal assistant technologies