Voice recognition software when fully installed on a personal computer (PC) is software that has the ability to receive, interpret and convert spoken words into written text. Anyone that wants to use voice recognition software will need to have a sound card and a fairly decent microphone. A microphone is used to capture the words that you speak and to input that sound into the computer. Words that are spoken into the microphone can be detected by the software, recognized and converted into written text.
Voice recognition technology has been around for some time, although it has seen huge advancements over the past few years. As with any technology, voice recognition technology started off being slow, heavy and clunky. Not every word was recognized correctly and so work needed heavy editing. With time, the technology has been refined and improved so as to deliver the quality that we can enjoy today. These days, there less errors with the software in converting spoken words and fewer incorrectly interpreted words. Voice recognition software now has the ability to judge the context within which words are spoken and therefore can correctly choose the spelling of any word that can be spelled in more than one way. This helps in situations where two words sound exactly the same, such as the words “to” and “two”.
There are many reasons that voice recognition software is useful both for personal and business purposes. The technology is great for any individual that may suffer from a disability that prevents them from typing into a keyboard or using computers in the typical manner. Voice recognition software can bridge a huge communication gap for people with disabilities by allowing more people to have access to computer technology. If a person is unable to type for any reason whether due to a physical disability or through maybe not having learned to type, voice recognition software provides them with the option of speaking words into a computer rather than typing them in.
Typically, voice recognition software can read back to the user the words that they have spoken. This allows the user to review their work/words and to make edits and corrections if necessary.
If you are on the market for voice recognition software for your PC, the two areas that you should judge software on are the speed and the accuracy of the software. In the best case scenario, you should try to buy the software that has the best word error rate (WER). Most applications will provide statistics on their WER. If they don’t, a search of consumer web sites and voice recognition forums will put you in touch with other consumers that can give you the “real deal” on the accuracy of the voice recognition program you are thinking of buying.