Naturally speaking

The only reason I ever run Windows is because I sometimes use Dragon Naturally Speaking, the only dictation software I’ve used which does what it says on the tin. I was therefore touched to find this ingenious application of the software described in a message to David Pogue and reproduced in his New York Times column.

My wife and I discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking about 8 years ago, and have been using it successfully ever since– not for dictation, but as a communication aid. My wife is deaf; her hearing loss began about 25 years ago (we are in our late 60’s) and she has become a skillful lip reader to compensate. That works pretty well in face-to-face communication, but is not helpful in many other situations, such as when we are driving; when I drive, I give her a side view, which isn’t clear enough.

I’ve made brackets to hold a laptop both in our car and motor home. I use a lapel mike to speak; NaturallySpeaking transcribes what I say. She reads what I’m saying, and then responds by voice. When we got this working, it was the first time in 15 years that we could converse on the road. We are now using version 9, having upgraded several times, and based on your report, we will watch for version 11!