Dragon Dictate 4

Working smarter with Dragon Dictate and a giveaway

This is a sponsored post for Dragon and Digital Parents Collective

 

I remember as a child I would watch my mum as she would type so fast, not looking at the typewriter keyboard but looking ahead or to the journalist who was dictating the latest story to appear on the nightly news bulletin. Or she would write down some scribbly looking notes that turned out to be the now defunct art of shorthand. I would come along with her to work sometimes, sit myself up with a typewriter and just bash out that keyboard like I was writing the next instalment of War and Peace. Her co workers would look over my shoulder and remark on the fascinating story I was writing and how my mum ought to be careful or I would put her out of a job. Humouring my mumbo jumbo of letters that didn’t resemble words let alone make any sense!

I thought I just wanted to type back then. Well before computers were even on our radar. A few years down the track and what did come to being was a love of writing. Of getting thoughts out of my head and on to paper….either via my increasingly hard to understand handwriting , my two finger typing on the ipad or my now nicely evolving touch typing skills on the Mac (still not as quick as my mum but certainly getting there).

 

Now I have been asked to try out the Dragon Dictate 4 for Mac, voice recognition software by Nuance. It means I can just talk away and it dictates my words to the screen. I am always scribbling stuff down. I have more notebooks than a kikki K store and I have the questions and answers to every conceivable parenting question out there……all on scraps of paper and in the notes section of a number of different technological devices. I know I wouldn’t ever completely get rid of the scribbled notes, but having my own personal scribe sounded like something I could get used to.

 

I must admit there was a little trepidation when I set up my Dragon. You know when technology that is supposed to save you time but ends up being more trouble than it’s worth? I thought this may have been the case but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Not straight away, as it did take the Dragon Dictate 4 and myself a couple of goes to get used to each other. But with a little perseverance, some very helpful tutorials and some fine tuning of my voice, intonation, frequently used words and phrases, Dragon Dictate 4 actually started to scribe the words as per my intention.

Then I started to think of some of the other ways this could be used. My son who is visually impaired and gets tired from typing and writing . My other son who writes minimal text as he thinks it all takes too long, and well, there are other things he could be doing with his time! I haven’t got the kids to have much of a go yet as I have been playing around myself, and lets face it, being school holidays they are not going to do anything ‘extra’ on anything that is perceived as schoolwork!

 

Dragon Dictate 4 could be a great asset to those that do a lot of writing, typing or just thinking that needs to be put down in ink somewhere! It is made by the peeps that are the world leader in speech recognition software so the quality is great and whilst not the cheapest at $199.95, it is still affordable (There are also Windows versions of Dragon – Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home at $99.95 and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium at $199.95). I certainly wouldn’t bother mucking around with cheaper versions that meant I would have to go and retype anything for all the misunderstood dictation. And aside form the obvious benefits of dictation, including preventing RSI fingers, the Dragon can also launch applications, format text, search the internet and even send emails.

 

So if you think this is something that would help your kids study or help yourself at work or play, then the good news is I have five to give away!

All you have to do is tell me how you would use Dragon speech recognition software from Nuance?

Competition open to Australian residents only and closes 5pm AEST, 27/10/14.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Hands-free typing would be so, um, handy! I could actually use it right now instead of typing this one-handed (and very slowly) as I feed my little one. It would also be great to shoot of emails and ‘write’ things down while you’re cooking or playing on the floor with the kids. Genius 🙂

  2. I’ve been dying to try speech to text (strangely enough Dragon in particular) for a while! Working from home is hard, and it’s even harder when I’ve got my little bubba’s who are mad keen to get into anything I’m doing. If I’m on the keyboard, they want to be on it, if I’m sitting at my desk, they want to be on that too!

    If I had the Dragon software I’d set up my work station so I can just sit and watch the girls (if I don’t look like I’m doing anything, they are more than happy to entertain themselves) and ‘write’.

    It’d be just my luck if they suddenly started paying attention to what i was saying LoL!

  3. I wouldn’t pay that, but I do like the idea of it. Although I wonder if I could speak things as well as I write them; sometimes my words get all muddled.

  4. Oooh I need a waterproof headset so I can finally write blog posts while I’m in the shower! LOL

    I think my kids would love this too, the big ones would be able to ‘write’ stories as fast as they can tell them and I can imagine how excited my four year old would be to see his words written! Though I doubt it can understand cute four year old speak!

  5. I work as a P.A. for a MD who loves me to write things down for him, all of the time. With this, he could do it himself, therefore rendering me useless lol
    Yes I think it’s time for me to move on, thinking this way 🙂

  6. So as someone that spends about 5 hours a day typing I would LOVE to give my weary wrists, that have some signs of early RSI says the specialist a break. I talk and think WAY faster than I can type and write and to be able to get text down, especially when I have ideas for web content I’m writing for companies, would be such a lifesaver! It would also mean I’d only have to edit, cut and paste instead of writing pages of text! I’d be interested to see if it could keep up with my gabble mouth? Oh and my daughter would get a kick out of it, she’s quite in love with making up stories right now, wonder where she gets that from?

  7. I would love one of these programs for my son. He has dyslexia and struggles to get his ideas down. He gets stuck on spelling a simple word and then looses his train of thought and generally gives up trying. We have looked into this program in the past but it’s always been a little out of reach for us. It would make every day tasks, like writing an email a little easier for him. x

  8. This sounds like exactly what I need! I’m always saying that I would be able to write so many more blog posts if I could just upload them directly from my thoughts. And while this isn’t exactly the same (now that would be scary advanced. And just scary when you think about it!) this would be a step in that direction. I could just think and speak out my blog posts rather than having to sit and type which is super annoying because despite how fast I can type, I will never be able to type as quick as I think or talk!

  9. Iam trying to write a novella and fing typing really throws my thought out of whack so the Dragon would be brilliant. It could also help with lesson preparation as well as a great asset for a blind student Iam currently tutoring

  10. With three little kids and so little time,
    Need the Dragon Dictate to record what’s on my mind
    Organise my life as chaos always reins
    Write lists and keep appointments so no one can complain!

  11. I’d type word documents, in particular love letter to my wife Jackie, really long love letters full of emotion and the outpouring of my heart.

  12. That software sounds amazing. As someone who is regularly interviewing people and writing reports for a living, it sounds like it could be amazing and a real time saver. If the product works, I would be in a position to recommend it to numerous colleagues and professional organisations.

    I would love to give this product a try as it could change my life.

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