Friday, October 21, 2011

Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is the free app by Nuance, the software company that produces Dragon Naturally Speaking, a speech-to-text program that uses voice voice recognition for people who have an easier time speaking out their thoughts than to type.   It's a program that is highly regarded in the assistive technology market.

Basically, Dragon Dictation is their app version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. 

I tested it out because while I communicate better by writing or typing, when I'm writing assignments, sometimes I have to write my thoughts by hand and then it takes more time to type it up.  Which usually leads me to procrastinate for long periods, or else I get distracted because I've already written it down and don't want to "write" it all again.   I thought that maybe I could use Dragon Dictation to speed up the process and improve my productivity. 

I chose Dragon Dictation because I have friends who use Dragon Naturally Speaking, and have given the software very good reviews.  Also, reviews elsewhere have been good, it supports multiple languages, and there's built in social networking features to post to Twitter and Facebook. 

So I gave it a try. 

And came across some problems. 

Dragon Dictation requires a wifi connection, which I know for sure isn't always available everywhere and very much depends on location. 

Also, it requires clear and concise dictation.   I tested it both in a noisy location, which gave poor results every time, in a quiet location with no background noise, which gave half good results, and in a quiet location with some music playing quietly, which gave half good results.  Speaking as clearly and concise as I could in both quiet locations made no difference to the results; only about half of my words were being translated properly into text. 

Depending on how I am feeling on going through my dictation and editing, this could be beneficial or else it could make little difference to my productivity.  Either way, it demonstrates an inconsistent method of productivity in my schoolwork. 

I think that unless a person has very good speaking and dictation, that this app is not appropriate for most Autistic individuals. 

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