I have been a fan of Dragon voice recognition for many years and having just installed Dragon 15 onto my PC I have to ask why is anyone bothering to type anymore? When we will stop hanging on to the notion that voice recognition software is inaccurate and does not work with accents or in environments where there is any background noise? Why are we so resistant to change?

The early versions of Dragon I agree were dreadful, and often very frustrating to use, but Dragon 13 was a big step forward, and Dragon 15 is quite remarkable in its accuracy and ease of use.

Not surprisingly I’m dictating this blog rather than typing. It is so much easier to sit back or even stand and talk to the computer and watch words miraculously appear in front of you on the screen. Over the last few years I have tried working with Dragon 13 in lots of different environments and found the only complete failure is working on a diesel train. Even sitting in a car travelling down a motorway (as a passenger!) I have found that I could dictate work all be it with a lesser degree of accuracy than a quiet room, but at least it was getting a first draft done.

I often hear the reason for not moving to voice recognition as the fact that people work in open plan offices. Do these people not use a phone in their office!? Indeed I have come across 2 major businesses in the last few months that are removing all the phones and replacing them with a computer headset, as all phone / video call conferencing are now done in these businesses via the computer and the same headset that dragon could be used for.

It is estimated that dictating with Dragon can improve productivity by around 40%. How would you like to get more reports done every day with less stress? This alone should be such a compelling reason to adopt new technology that I cannot understand why everyone is not already using it.

Another objection I hear is that dictated reports and blogs read like they are dictated. For fun and at with the objections from my poor hands screaming at me to stop abusing them on a keyboard, I have written some of this “by hand” and some by voice recognition. It is a ratio of 50 – 50. Can you spot which is which; and does it matter in these days where slurred estuary English is the norm from UK call centres?! Maybe I am showing my age with the last comment!

Clinically, I often recommend the use of Dragon voice recognition as a tool to reduce upper limb pain and back pain. The concept of combining Dragon with active working strategies and in particular sit stand working works exceedingly well. What out for a whole blog on the therapeutic use in simple musculo-skeletal cases of voice activation software in the future.

If anybody would like advice on voice recognition software, sit stand working, or active working strategies then please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be very glad to assist.

Stuart Nottingham
Registered Occupational Health Chartered Physiotherapist