Let your voice empower you at work
The all-new Dragon Professional Individual drives productivity at work by enabling fast, accurate dictation and transcription with the right level of customization. Create, edit and format documents by voice - quickly and accurately - so you spend less time on paperwork and more time on activities that boost the bottom line.
• Speed through documentation: Fast dictation and high recognition accuracy that continually improves as it adapts to your voice.
• Dictate anytime, anywhere: Integrate with the professional-grade dictation app, Dragon Anywhere for iOS and Android and dictate and edit documents wherever your job takes you.
• Short-cut repetitive tasks: Define simple voice commands to short-cut repetitive processes, speed up document creation, and boost your productivity.
• Boost efficiency: Add customized words for accurate recognition of the industry terms, acronyms or personal preferences you use very day.
For full details, visit the Nuance product page here: http://djin.nz/Nuance-DPI
Too many years ago, in a previous life as a computer salesman for a major chain store, I came across an early version of this package, and it impressed me no end with how quickly it was able to lock on to speech patterns without extra training. I set it up on a demo PC to show it off to potential customers and ran it through the basic training, and from that point on it was able to be demonstrated by other members of the sales team with needing too be trained in their voices as well.
After a while, I moved away from that career and lost track of the software's progress and development, so to get a request to review the latest iteration was a real delight. Installation and training was even easier than I remembered, and the accuracy was top-notch. I am using it to write this review in fact. The ability to control software by voice is a huge asset. The ease with which the software integrates into the operating system makes it a valuable tool to anyone with mobility issues or dexterity problems. Elderly or those with paralysis of the upper limbs would find this to be a lifesaver and enable them to lead a more active online lifestyle.
One of the other features that has greatly improved over the years is the ability to use alternate input sources such as voice recordings and remote microphones. I often find myself dictating voice notes or reviews while I am away from the computer and I can then feed them through Dragon when I return to the office, which saves me a lot of time and effort not to mention strain on my wrists. I also find it extremely handy for tracking notes after important phone calls. By recording my side of the conversation I can keep track of any obligations or tasks that I have assigned myself or to other team members, making resource allocation a lot simpler in the long run and shaving hours off my weekly workload.
Many years ago I discovered the concept of macros - a cluster of tasks, automated and triggered by a single command - when I was learning programming. I was extremely impressed to discover that functionality in the current version of this product. I was able to assign unique and customised command strings to any series of tasks spanning any number of applications I had open at the time, and in some cases even trigger applications to open when needed. The new "What Can I Say" command menu makes it extremely easy to see what functionality is available under any circumstance or any situation, including any application specific commands.
I often find myself trying to package up parcels and sort out address labels on short notice and with a tight deadline, utilising a wireless headset with microphone and Dragon Professional, my hands can be busy filling boxes and envelopes with products while my voice is controlling the database and printing out address labels remotely. This can literally make the difference between getting the parcels out on time or having to delay delivery by up to a week. This keeps me on the good side of the couriers, and the recipients - reviewers or prizewinners. Unfortunately for me, the email client I choose to use will not integrate with this package - that is an incompatibility issue with the email client not Dragon. Because of this I was not able to test the email integration directly, however dictating into notepad and then copy and pasting into the email was simple as the pasting functionality is in the operating system not the email client. This allowed me to send 15 comprehensive emails in under an hour, a task that would normally have taken me closer to 3 hours.
As a test of the power of the application, and its ability to include navigation commands as well as input text, I attempted to complete an online survey using voice only. While it took a little getting used to, and the learning curve was steeper than I expected, after some practice I was able to complete a five-page online survey without touching the keyboard once. While this was more of an experiment than an actual task I would attempt to use this for on a regular basis, it was very interesting to see how well the software coped with text to be entered interspersed with voice commands - extremely well actually. The ability to jump between text fields, enter text and trigger buttons without utilising any keyboard or mouse inputs shows how versatile the software is and how important it can be to those with limited interactive options due to any physical limitations affecting their limbs.
Overall, I have been testing the software on and off for nearly 2 months now, and to be honest I am starting to wonder why I have relied on a keyboard all these years when my voice can do almost everything I need to do on the PC. If they ever develop a software package that will allow me to use Photoshop with voice commands only, I doubt I would need a keyboard or mouse on top of my desk ever again. At $530, this is not exactly a cheap piece of software however as a long-term investment in your improved productivity, it is an extremely affordable one. If you have ever considered trialing a voice dictation or voice command system, this is certainly one you should seriously add to the top of your list. It may be a little frustrating to start with, but the more you use it the smarter it gets, and the more it adapts to your personal vocal style. Using the software I rarely find the need to correct it or offer it any instructions on better interpretations, and the few times that I do I can do that by voice as well. This is the best reason to talk to yourself in an empty room bar none.
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