Drew reviews Dragon's software

You can now control your whole computer via voice commands, as well as produce documents at 99 per cent accuracy with spoken text.

Intuitive voice recognition software

Voice recognition software has come a long way in a very short amount of time. So much so that you can now operate your computer, send emails or produce documents at 99 per cent accuracy with voice commands. Not only does voice recognition software increase the accuracy of your work, it also allows you to get more done in less time, as thoughts instantly become words.

Review: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium

I approached the idea of voice recognition software with a touch of scepticism, having used a program five years ago which was seen as market-leading technology, but was nowhere near accurate or a worthwhile experience. As evidenced by the advancements in smartphone voice recognition software, such as Siri, I knew voice recognition had come a long way, but I didn’t expect it to be this competent.

After I had installed the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium software on my computer, the program walked me through how to use it correctly and I would recommend to anyone using the program for the first time that they not only go through this process, but also take the time to read through the learning centre and tutorials to get a greater grasp on the software.

I set myself two tasks for reviewing the software; to send myself an email and to create a 250 word document.

After setting up my voice profile with the software so that it could understand the tone of my voice, I turned the software on and started talking. “Start email” was my first command and my inbox popped up. “New email” instantly opened a new email and as I wanted to send the test email to myself, I spoke my full name, which selected my email address. “Go to subject field” took me to the subject field and speaking “Thank you for the flowers” filled in the subject field. “Go to body field” then took me to the top of the body field and I was ready to compose my email. This is where the only error occurred throughout the process. “Dear Drew”, which I said fairly fast came out as “Deirdre”. By saying the command “scratch that”, the word “Deirdre” was removed and on my second attempt “Dear Drew” was shown. I then filled in the rest of the email to myself, saying “full stop”, “comma” or “question mark” to use punctuation, followed by “new paragraph” or “new line”.  Once I was done, “send email” shot the email straight into the outbox and the email was sent.

The second-part of my testing went smother than I expected. I read word-for-word one of our recent 250 word articles including all punctuation, via commands, and it didn’t make a single mistake throughout the process. Not only was the process accurate, it was extremely fast.

For me, the most difficult part about using this software was understanding and learning which commands I could use to do what I wanted inside each different aspect of the software. Once you have this mastered, you should be able to operate your computer solely by voice. The best part about the software is that if you don’t know, you can ask the software “What can I say” and it will give you the options available.

I haven’t been this impressed by a piece of software in some time. I would conservatively give the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software a 9.5/10 for experience and 8.5/10 for useability.

Available for PC or MAC, Dragon software starts at just $99.99.

Click here for more information on Dragon voice recognition software.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    16th Oct 2014
    "Start Email".
    " Go to Bank"
    And it took Me straight to Politicians Pension Fund ??
    16th Oct 2014
    very interesting indeed as my husband would love to be able to do this.
    16th Oct 2014
    Gee that's getting cheap
    16th Oct 2014
    "The second-part of my testing went smother than I expected."

    Really? I wondered who you were trying to smother, until I realised you meant "more smoothly"
    A. N. Onymous
    17th Oct 2014
    My experience with computers and word processing programs since the days of DOS and Windows 3.11, both at home and at work until I retired, has convinced me that any spell-check and/or grammar-check program is only as good as the person using it.

    Obviously the same is true of this program as noted by oujeffie in relation to “smother”. Since “smother” would not sound at all like “more smoothly,” presumably the dictation was simply “smoother” (which is grammatically incorrect).

    Since “colon” and “semicolon” sound very different, the error in this sentence would be the dictator’s – the semicolon should be a colon in "I set myself two tasks for reviewing the software; to send myself an email and to create a 250 word document."

    Normally I would not comment on punctuation and/or grammar errors. However, in this situation, where the writer is spruiking a program for its accuracy, it must be pointed out that the accuracy might be for something incorrect, or not accurate.

    (As a former English teacher, I am restraining myself from further comments about punctuation.)
    17th Oct 2014
    Sorry Drew, you put your foot in it. Dragon Premium which you say you tested comes in at $220 (minus one cent); it's only the Home edition that costs $99.95 -- you didn't even get that price correct -- you said ninety nine cents.
    Better luck next time
    17th Oct 2014
    Ooops, I put my foot in it too. For $220 please read $200. Sorry for the inaccuracy.
    19th Oct 2014
    Keep the Change !!

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