General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionSolo Newsletter

More on Voice Recognition Software

The main "players" in the voice recognition software market for businesses are IBM (www.software.ibm.com/is/voicetype) and Kurzweil (www.kurzweil.com). IBM offers Voice Type Simply Speaking, which retails for $89.99 (headset included). Once loaded on to your computer, Voice Type operates by recognizing "discrete" speech patterns—that is, the method of speaking with a very light pause between words. It learns more as you use it, steadily increasing its accuracy over time. With this software, you don’t have to worry about time-consuming spell checks—it spells it right the first time.

Well, that is, if it understands you the first time. This is where price is an issue. Less expensive software has fewer voice profiles. The fewer the voice profiles, the longer it may take the software to adapt to your particular speech pattern and increase its accuracy.

The second factor that affects price is the software’s ability to interact with other software applications. IBM’s Voice Type allows you to create memos, letters, and reports, but if you want to send an e-mail you’ll have to put hand to keyboard. But Kurzweil’s Voice Plus, which retails for $199.99 (headset included), claims it will work with all Windows applications as well as your favorite e-mail service. Kurzweil also offers a less expensive software, Voice Pad, which retails for $69.99. It is similar to IBM’s Voice Type .

All of these software applications require a computer that has an Intel Pentium chip or faster, eight to 16 MB of RAM, and 30 to 35 MB of available hard drive space. Also, your computer needs a voice sound card.

 

Source: Mary L. Bryant

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