I read a number of reviews on Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 that said if you have Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.5, it's not worth upgrading.
If you have a physical disability, that's just not true. The new version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking offers many features in terms of navigating the desktop and using the web that are highly useful. Moreover, the accuracy is increased and this is noticeable right out of the box.
I was fortunate enough to receive Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 in the mail this week. Installation was quick and easy on a Vista 32 laptop. I purchased a Plantronics USB headset, because I find that the soundcards on laptops are generally not optimal for voice-recognition.
The first thing I noticed, after doing a short training, was that I was getting fewer mistakes in my dictation. I dictated three pages of correspondence and there were only three errors, even though I had only done a few minutes of training. Based on my experiences, this is a phenomenal result.
After I finished my work, I decided to check out some of the fun features on Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. I learned that I could search the web, the news, images, Wikipedia, eBay and almost any site with my voice. The navigation commands responded briskly and were much better in Firefox, which I prefer to use. I opened iTunes and read an audible.com book completely by voice. Not only is the desktop navigation better, but the number of times I have to use a dictation box to input data has decreased. I was able to type right on Facebook and twitter. I can blog directly into blogger with the same level of accuracy as on other programs.
This, of course, also applies to the many programs I use for my job. Because I'm on the computer for many hours a day, the less I have to use workarounds for what voice recognition doesn't do, the less fatigue I have. I'm able to work a calculator by voice, do my research by voice, set up tables by voice, and a myriad of other tasks, including searching my e-mails, by voice. Believe me, all of this is extremely worth upgrading to a newer version of voice recognition.
There are instances where the voice-recognition cannot help me, especially regarding cursor control. Using the Mouse Grid during a busy day isn't practical. I continue to look for very inexpensive ways to solve this that don't require energy drain. I'm excited by the work being done with breath control of the cursor at the CES convention this week and wrote the company about being a possible tester. A mass-market alternative to the present technology would lower the cost for what I need and it's great to see that starting to happen.
If anyone else would like to leave comments about their experiences with voice-recognition or have any questions please feel free to do so.