Over the years, attorneys have asked me what new technology they could use to improve their practices. The concept of speech recognition would come up frequently and be quickly dismissed. They would complain that they tried it a few years ago and it never really worked for them. It was expensive, they spent too long trying to train it to work, and then it only “sort of” worked. I smiled, nodded, and moved on because as a legal technology consultant I had run into the same issues supporting speech recognition software.
About two years ago, Dragon Dictation came out with Version 10, which was touted to be much better than previous versions. Much of the arduous training was taken out and the accuracy improved tremendously. Fast-forward two years and I found myself using the speech recognition feature within the iPhone. The iPhone was surprisingly accurate when I dictated an email or text, so I proceeded to download the free Dragon Dictation app for both my iPhone and my iPad.
Even though the iPhone and the iPad apps require an internet connection, and the terms of service might not be appropriate for client confidential work, the recognition was accurate and quick. When I found a deal on the newest version of Dragon Dictation (Version 12) for my laptop, I decided to give it a go. The package came with a headset, which I recommend using to get the most out of your speech recognition software.
After five to ten minutes of training, I was off and running. From contractions to names (you can import your contacts for accurate spelling) I am continually impressed with it. I tend to write the way I speak and the accuracy is incredible. I’ve been using it for several months now and I find that I save a great deal of time when writing long emails, documents and blog posts.
As a first timer at speech recognition software, I am hooked. Without that much of a financial investment you can save time and increase your productivity. I am composing this blog right now using Dragon. Is it perfect? No. Does it work really well? Yes. Will I continue to use it? Absolutely!