There has never been a better time to venture into the wonderful world of speech technologies. In today’s society, flexibility and speed play an essential role in most people’s daily lives. Speech technologies are becoming an important method for people to talk to in-car systems, mobile phones, game consoles and even televisions!
Speech is continually proving itself as a viable and convenient method of input, with speech technologies such as speech recognition and digital dictation becoming an integral part of many business operations.
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Speech recognition and the automatic transcription of text significantly reduces the turnaround time and cost of document and email production. Speech recognition software offers flexibility to clients as it can be used in real time or off-line in the background.
How does it work?
When using speech recognition software in real time the spoken word is displayed in text on your computer screen ready to be reviewed and approved immediately. When using the technology ‘off-line’ a person’s spoken word can be combined with the speech recognition software at a later time, for instance following dictation onto a digital voice recorder or SmartPhone whilst away from the office. This offers additional flexibility for either self-sufficiency or for sending typed text to a transcriptionist for the remaining workflow through to letter or report completion.
What are the benefits?
Whether you dictate as part of your profession or wish to avoid the tedium of the keyboard, speech recognition is the ideal solution. Not only is the efficiency and speed with which letters, emails and other correspondence are produced dramatically enhanced, but the move away from keyboard typing and mouse clicking considerably reduces the risk of upper limb disorders such as repetitive strain injury and tendonitis. The navigation of packages, templates and the internet is made quick and easy whilst canned text, stock phrases or commonly used sign-offs can be inserted with a single spoken command.
Why would I choose speech recognition over traditional dictation methods?
The efficiency gained with speech recognition solutions far exceed those provided by digital dictation and outsourced transcription. When using traditional dictation methods (whether analogue or digital) a typed document needs to be reviewed and approved by the author, often when the subject matter is no longer fresh in their minds, causing interruptions and adding additional steps to the workflow; this can be eliminated by the author sending approved text directly.
In simple terms, digital dictation offers a facility to capture dictation for subsequent typing, much like traditional tape based methods. Where digital systems differ is in their flexibility, security and functionality which offer previously unattainable levels of clarity, speed and freedom. The inconvenience of returning to the office to drop off tapes is removed thus increasing flexibility, reducing overheads and increasing productivity. The vast array of dictation systems on the market can make purchasing choices appear complicated. Nonetheless, in posing the right questions and pinpointing client priorities, VoicePower can take the confusion out of this process.
What are the benefits?
Hardware for speech recognition
The hardware you choose to use with your speech recognition software should not be underestimated; speech recognition can deliver poor accuracy levels with a non-suitable microphone. It is crucial to select the correct microphone for your working practices and equally one which is noise cancelling and will therefore offer the best possible accuracy.
There are a wide range of microphone options, from wireless and wired headset microphones to handheld ‘all in one’ dictation devices, there are also microphones which enable you to switch between talking on the telephone and dictating to your computer. Beware of telephony headsets which are not suitable for accurate speech recognition transcription, equally some digital dictation devices are optimised for digital dictation and will not necessarily offer accurate speech recognition.
Hardware for digital dictation
For digital dictation there are a wide variety of devices available, from mobile devices which can be used out of the office or pacing around your desk whilst dictating, to fixed microphones for use in the office; you can even use your mobile phone. The features and functionality of these devices can vary significantly, not just in terms of operation such as slide switch or push button control but some also have encryption features to keep your data secure.
Whilst the combination of digital recorder and transcription kit with management software is clearly a requirement of business, VoicePower also offers note takers for personal dictation and conference equipment for meeting and interview recording.