Windows 7 has many features designed to let the user interact with the desktop interface in place of the keyboard and mouse. One feature is touch, another is speech recognition.
What is Speech Recognition?
Just as the keyboard allows one to enter commands into the computer, and the mouse to deliberately change location where you want to type or to launch a file, speech is a new dimension of interface control that focus on commands, not location.
What if an application does not present “commands”? It can still be controlled by overlaying numbers above the interface, a geography control. To activate a function one only needs to speak the number. A mousegrid can be used to relocate the mouse in the appropriate grid location. The grid has nine zones, and when a zone is selected, the mouse moves to that zone, and a new nine zone grid is created. The speaker speaks the number again and keeps repeating the process until the mouse is put in the appropriate location.
How to use Speech Recognition
Before you can use the speech feature, there are some things that must be done. Unlike keyboards and mice, where the finger pressure is converted into a constant electronic pressure, voice has variations. So the software must be trained.
- First of all, there is a hardware issue. One needs a very good microphone. Avoid cheaper microphones since they tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
- Secondly create a voice profile and train the computer to identify the speaker’s voice and pronunciation. There is a speech training tutorial.
-> Click the Start button
->Click Control Panel
-> Click Ease of Access
-> Click Speech Recognition
->Click Take Speech Tutorial
- And finally, speak clearly and pronounce your words carefully, not too fast or too slow.
Key Features of Speech Recognition
Speech recognition is separated into the following categories:
- Multiple languages: Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista is available in eight languages/dialects: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.
- “How do I” help: If one says “How do I…” do, or make, or find … a task that one wants to perform with the computer, the software will respond accordingly. For example, “How do I change my desktop theme?”
- Correction: One is able to fix incorrectly recognized words by selecting from alternatives provided for the dictated phrase or word, or by spelling the word.
- Dictation: Address e-mails and documents by dictation; make corrections, and save the work.
- Adaptation: Modification and adaptation to speaking styles and accents. The software learns and improves the interaction with the computer
- Command: This is the “Say what you see” feature. It enables one to naturally control applications and complete tasks. Among such them are launching documents or applications, formatting, saving or deleting documents.
- Disambiguation: Ambiguous words and phrasings can be resolved with a user interface for clarification. If something can be misinterpreted, the software can clarify it.
Here is an example of Windows Speech Recognition.