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Voice recognition applications hold the future, since the tech industry works towards voice commands and dictation for better speed and productivity in workstations, laptops and smartphones. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is the paragon among the voice recognition software; it sets standards for the industry and provides fantastic productivity enhancement tool. It’s not cheap, but considering its almost futuristic set of features and capabilities combined with its 99% perfect recognition accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking is well worth the money. I’ve been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for a month now, and I can say that it works miracles on my workflow and productivity in general.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a substantial list of requirements you need to be aware of before you buy. Two major downsides here are that the requirements rule out most of the older workstations and some of the laptops, the second one being the absence of the trial version, so pay attention to the compatibility requirements.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 supports Microsoft Windows 7 and higher 32-bit and 64-bit systems; Vista SP2 , 32 and 64 bit; XP SP3 32-bit only; Windows server 2008 SP2 and R2 32 and 64-bit.
The minimum system requirements are 1GB of RAM for Windows XP and Vista, and 2GB for Windows 7 and Windows server 2008.
2.2GHz Intel dual core or equivalent AMD processor is recommended; a faster processor guarantees faster performance. SSE2 instruction set is required. You will also need 3.2 GB of free hard disk space.
Your PC or laptop has to have a sound card supporting 16-bit recording and a DVD-ROM for installation. If you want to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking with Gmail and Hotmail, you will have to install Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 12 and higher, or Google Chrome 16 and higher.
It probably goes without saying, but you need a headset with microphone and the relatively quiet environment for best performance.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking may not be the easiest software there is, but taking into account the powerful technology under its hood, the interface, set-up wizard and help manual offer a smooth transition from a novice rookie to an advanced pro in terms of speech recognition. Probably, the initial setup is the most difficult thing you will have to face with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and it consists of going through the setup wizard, reading out loud a sample paragraph and a little bit of self-educational reading. It’s a smooth learning curve and in an hour’s time you will be exploring the endless possibilities of Dragon enhancing your productivity. However, you do not need to go for additional voice feedback during the initial installation and profile setup, you can come back to it any time later. You can choose your country and region and specific accents, but the best way to teach your Dragon accuracy is to scan your documents and emails, anything that you have written, for the Dragon to learn your vocabulary and writing style.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 has enhanced in speed and accuracy, and added a couple of cool new features, such as compatibility with Gmail and Hotmail, which allows you to navigate your email with voice commands. Dictation boasts of high level of accuracy; postal code standard formatting; the state abbreviation capitalized, and other standardized options are included.
Most of all, impressive is the learning feature because Dragon learns as you type, and you can use several options to teach it to perform better. Correction options allow for more recognition enhancement. And don’t forget social network integration, such as post to Facebook and twitter feature, web search, opening and closing programs, saving documents, as well as integration with Dragon smartphone applications that allow dictation from your smartphone or tablet. Also, Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a feature of transcribing audio recordings.
- High accuracy of speech recognition
- Integration with Gmail, Outlook and social networks
- Audio recording transcription
- Extensive help manual
- Fast performance
- The possibility to continuously teach your Dragon to recognize your speech, vocabulary, and writing style
- The interface is intuitive for dictation and editing
- The possibility to use hotkeys, as well as full integration with Windows Explorer, so you can edit and save documents without resorting to the mouse and keyboard
- No trial version, and upgrade from previous versions is quite expensive
- Not good for noisy environments
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium and Vlingo (iPhone, android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile).
Dragon NaturallySpeaking solves more problems than you can initially think of: besides boosting your productivity, it is a powerful stress relief for those who suffer from carpal syndrome and repetitive strain injury from working too much in a seated position in front of the computer. Dragon makes writing and composing a lot faster, leaving more time for creativity and inspiration, not to mention its priceless value for people with dyslexia.