Kudos to the Office speech recognition team

I ate lunch with Scott Hanselman a couple of weeks ago and I noticed he had his right wrist wrapped. He said he had been typing too much and he was feeling a lot of pain. As a result he said he has started to use voice commands and dictation to interact with his computer. He even blogged about it recently.

Scott uses Microsoft Office 2003’s built-in voice recognition software. He also has a USB microphone. As I was straightening up my office this morning I ran across my a headphone/microphone combination headset and I thought I’d give it a try for a couple of minutes.

I spent perhaps ten minutes training the voice recognition software then I gave it a go.  It’s amazing. It just works. I’m simply using the microphone input jack connected to the headset. Nothing fancy at all.

This is so cool I’m trembling right now as I’m talking to the computer. (I don’t think it had anything to do with the massive cup of coffee I drank a little bit ago.  : )

A few years ago I tried some voice recognition software to write the speaker notes for a presentation that I was preparing.  I was working on a slow computer and the software you didn’t really understand my voice very well. It got to be such a hassle of trying to go back and correct the mis-typed words that I couldn’t really keep my train of thought going.  I also tried it out on some emails and a couple of word documents, but I found that it was easier for me to go ahead and just type than to try to dictate.

But this is the most natural thing in the world. And the coolest thing is it works with all sorts of applications. BlogJet doesn’t know anything about voice recognition, however it’s handling the dictation just fine. I’m a pretty fast typist but this is miles beyond what I could ever type by hand, and my hands are not getting fatigued.

Thanks Microsoft Office team and Scott Hanselman. (I think it’s so funny that the software recognizes “Scott Hanselman” and spells his name correctly – without any custom training. : )

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