Sunday, 24 July 2011

Dictation is beguiling!

I got a new App for my iphone today - in fact i got 3! One creates handwritten notes from your finger-written scrawls on the screen - just a picture, and a bit messy, but quick. The 2nd transforms cursive handwritten words (again using index finger on screen) to produce typed text. Impressive but rather slow and (so far) v prone to errors) The 3rd is called Dragon Dictation, it was a free App and I must say, I'm impressed! (what follows was all typed by the dictation App as i spoke it)

I can use the keyboard to correct the text after I dictate the bulk of it - to add punctuation etc - and that's much quicker than typing it all using my finger on the tiny screen on the iPhone.

Obviously I have to be in a quiet room without the TV on in the background and I have to be in a place where it is acceptable to be speaking out loud like this. But honestly I am absolutely amazed at how accurate the voice recognition is when I've only just started using it and it has absolutely no problem with my accent at all - or with making out which words I am speaking.

Once I dictate the text I can either copy it and paste it into any application I wish or I can send it directly to Facebook or twitter. I can also put it straight into an e-mail and send it to anyone in my contact list or indeed to myself so that I can then use it on my laptop.

I can see this becoming a very useful way of blogging. I can also see myself using it when I want to create to-do lists or shopping lists more quickly than I have been able to in the past. Another useful thing would be to read out the text of something rather than trying to use an OCR scan which can often be irritatingly inaccurate. This method would only require me to read out the section of text and voilĂ  I would have it in an editable form ready to use in any way.

Granted speaking (rather than composing what one wants to say on the page) does make it more difficult to keep track of the shape of sentences and does perhaps lead to a less eloquent form of communication. However, on the other hand, it is a lot of fun!
Now to experiment with the punctuation that the application may be able to recognise! I wonder, if the signs I am speaking – will turn out to be correct? Yes! Every single one! I really am totally amazed!

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