With the Preferred version of DNS 9 you can control things like email with your voice and if you get a lot of emails, it can cut back time spent on this major task each day. The more applications you use with DNS 9, the wider the vocabulary you’ll need to control the program. Most commands are pretty logical, but if you get stuck for what to say, the well-named command ‘What can I say?’ calls up a useful help panel.
DNS 9 is more flexible than previous versions, and can take input from a wide variety of different sources. It works with Bluetooth headsets, digital voice recorders and even Palm Tungsten and Pocket PCs. Record on the move and you can then dump your sound files back to your desktop PC when you synchronise. A new DNS 9 feature enables you to trigger automatic transcription of audio files that are saved into a designated folder.
One of the annoying parts of using earlier versions of DNS was that you pretty much had to use a cabled headset to get good accuracy. Although version 8 would work with a Bluetooth microphone, most people found it hard to get satisfactory results.
This time round, there’s a wireless version of the Preferred option which comes bundled with a Plantronics CS60 DECT-based wireless headset, which can be worn attached to one ear or with a headband and can also, usefully, double up to answer Skype calls. From early tests, it appears to offer adequate sound quality for good recognition. The headset comes with its own charger and needs no drivers; just plug it into any available USB port.
Speech recognition has been The Next Big Thing for so long many people had begun to lose hope. The increase in recognition accuracy, the ease-of-use and the price points of this new round of Dragon NaturallySpeaking are enough to make you want to give it another try. It really can save you a lot of time. And yes… of course, this review was dictated entirely using Dragon.
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