Speech or voice recognition software allows you to input data into your computer using your voice. Instead of the traditional input devices such as the keyboard and the mouse, you use a microphone or a headset and tell the computer what you wish to do. As you speak, your voice is converted into text by matching it with coded wave files.
Impaired individuals who are not capable of using their hands to type use voice recognition software. Today, the technology is also being used by wide range of professionals including doctors, lawyers and executives. Instead of hiring transcriptionists and secretaries to handle documentation and preparation of reports, they simply o install the software in their computers and do the job themselves effortlessly.
There are different kinds of voice recognition software. They are speaker dependent and independent voice recognition software; command and control voice recognition software; and discrete, continuous and natural speech input voice recognition software.
Speaker-dependent software requires you to undergo comprehensive exercises in order for the computer to make a voice profile that will match your particular speech patterns. On the other hand, speaker independent software can be used upon installation of the program.
Command and control voice recognition systems are those that let you control your computer through voice commands. With this kind of software, you can start programs, open documents or navigate web sites and do other functions by simply talking to your computer.
Discrete speech input voice recognition software require you to pause after each word so that the computer can accurately identify the words you have dictated. Nevertheless, they are capable of achieving more than 60 wpm, similar to an advanced typist’s capacity.
Continuous speech input voice recognition software is a real-time voice recognition software that allows you to dictate instructions or commands without pausing in between words. However, this kind of software considers fewer words than other kinds of software. This is developed mostly for various medical specialties.
Lastly, the natural speech input voice recognition software is the software that is capable of recognizing the words that you utter fluently. It can recognize as much as 160 wpm and remembers your voice as you speak the words. While the accuracy of this software is far better than other kinds of voice recognition software, it is not yet absolutely dependable. Other factors such as the speed of the processor, the quality of the microphone and the environment where you are talking are crucial to the accuracy of this software.