Articles by Dan Newman
In a report published in the April/May 2000 issue of this magazine, Sergei Kochin of Knowles Electronics surveyed 13,690 speech recognition purchasers and found that less than 15 percent of them used speech software at least one hour per week. This means that five out of every six buyers are using the software rarely or never! Internal Microsoft studies place the abandonment rate for speech recognition software rate even higher, at 95 percent.
In the speech recognition dream, you can talk to your computer transparently and freely without wearing something on your head and without a cord dangling down from your ear. The first crop of desktop array microphones has arrived, moving us closer to the speech ideal as they deliver on their promise of cord-free dictation.
Speech interfaces that Require Less Human Memory
Point. Click. Point. Click. Point. Double-click. Speech is the most natural way to communicate, but PC applications are easiest to use by mouse and keyboard. This is not because of technology limitations, but by design.
Steer Clear of "Wrecking the Beach"
You say "speech recognition." The computer types "wreck the beach." Mistakes like this are common when dictating to your computer, but they also damage the credibility of speech technology in the users eyes (or ears).
DICTATION: How to Talk to Your Computer
Most of us have had limited experience conversing with our computers-besides cursing at them when they crash. To dictate most effectively with speech recognition software, you'll need to unlearn old habits and gain new skills.