In this week’s edition of Discovered Technologies, we present Dragon; speech recognition software.
Dr. James Baker laid out the description of a speech understanding system called DRAGON in 1975. After several acquisitions by numerous international companies, Dragon is now in the hands of Nuance Communications Inc. Since then, it has become an intelligent software product, able to teach itself to recognize one’s particular voice patterns so as to interact with a computer and to compose text without relying on the keyboard or mouse.
As Discover Technologies develops 508 compliant software for the visually impaired, we can’t help but think that Dragon speech recognition could be of great use for blind people, particularly when it comes to typing documents on SharePoint, Microsoft Word, Email, etc. Dragon was not developed for visually impaired people but rather for people with mobility impairments and for people who’d prefer to use their voice instead of their hands to operate a computer.
As you will see in the video below, Dragon would not be a complete solution for people who are visually impaired because it somewhat depends on the user’s visual recognition to select different objects on the screen. However, this particular feature is definitely something that a blind user could replace by using the keyboard’s navigation keys.
The greatest contribution Dragon could provide a computer user who is visually impaired is the ability to compose grammatically correct text, quickly. It would make this user more efficient at writing for it would eliminate the need of relying on the keyboard whilst listening to JAWS spell out every single letter you type, never mind spell-checking with JAWS.
The price of Dragon, a potential speech recognition software for blind people, ranges from $99 to $599 depending on its version. For more information regarding Dragon Screen Recognition Software for blind and visually impaired people, feel free to click on the
Side Note – It’d be interesting to test the simultaneous use of JAWS screen reader and Dragon voice recognition software. Would they complement themselves or would it be madness? In the future, it’s quite possible that the two could strike up a conversation and get your work done for you.