I continue to explore Windows Vista during week #4, again looking for features that are not available in other versions of Windows.

Tired of using your mouse and keyboard to create documents and emails? Would you like to create these documents and emails using voice commands? Well Windows Vista now offers Speech Recognition to increase your productivity. If you are like me, a two-finger typist, using voice is a godsend.

How it works. Speech Recognition supports multiple languages and includes a new human-sounding speech synthesizer. It kind of sounds like Hal from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey – at least to me it does. But that just shows my age. Anyway, with Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition, you are taken through guided setups including an interactive training application that familiarizes you with key concepts and commands. This takes some time, so be patient.

One nice feature that I found was that during dictation you could fix incorrectly recognized words from a list of alternatives, similar to the spell check feature in some word processing programs. You also have the option to spell the word again when a mistake is made.

How well does it work? It’s hard for me to judge. I speak fairly fast and have a tendency to mumble some. At least that is what my wife says. So I am still playing with this new toy and may need some further implementation before I can pass judgment on this feature.

[tags]vista, speech recognition, training, application, word processing, email [/tags]