Voice Recognition done right

February 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Posted in software | Leave a comment
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Like many people, I’ve tried using voice recognition software as an alternative to typing, but never really got on with it. It wasn’t the accuracy that was a problem, but the need to adapt my speech to the software’s requirements. I also like to think as I type and this involves editing as I go, changing my mind about how to phrase things. Voice-controlled editing is just awful.

However, I’ve just come across a piece of software called WordQ and SpeakQ which is designed to assist typing by blending it with voice recognition. For example if you want to add a word which you aren’t sure how to spell, just say it. If the recognition engine isn’t sure what you said it presents the likely alternatives as a list and you choose the right one. It will read back what you have typed, making it much easier for dyslexic students or those with shakey spelling or grammar to hear and then correct their errors. Finally, it will suggest  word synonyms to help you vary your vocabulary.

Take a look at the short video and see if you wish this functionality was standard on your computer. Although it is aimed at people with learning differences I think that most users would find it helpful. The only downside is the cost at $200 for the download version; the high price reflects the limited anticipated market size. I wonder how many copies they would sell if it were only $20 and was instead marketed to “anyone who sometimes has trouble spelling”? Or perhaps Microsoft could do a deal and make it standard on Windows 8 – that really would be a unique selling point and a solid reason to upgrade!

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