Voice to text, app or software recommendation required.
May 12, 2016 6:03 AM   Subscribe

My colleague is based in Kenya and has badly torn up his shoulder. We are looking for solution for him to work on the computer. He has an iPhone and uses a PC. The Dragon app is only for US and Canada. Can you recommend a solution he can try before he buys that will be available to him in his location? This is rather urgent. Thank you.
posted by infini to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Normal dragon software (that you install on your PC) shouldn't have location restrictions, since it is not pinging back to a data center to do the voice recognition.
posted by rockindata at 6:07 AM on May 12, 2016

No free trial download hence this ask.
posted by infini at 6:39 AM on May 12, 2016

Here's a link to a bunch of apps. A 10yr old I hang out with dictated her book report with some app on her chromebook that had to be free, I can find out later.
posted by mareli at 7:17 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

What is he doing on the computer?

I ask, as tools might already have this baked in

If its things like web searches "OK Google" is pretty reliable while writing documents Google Docs already has this baked in. Likewise, Siri will take dictation on email and SMS etc, albeit slightly clunkily.
posted by Middlemarch at 7:27 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's the challenge. He can afford to purchase Dragon but given the disparity of purchasing power (1USD = 100Kes), is unwilling to commit before testing to see if it works.

He is primarily reading and writing in Microsoft Office (various functions). There would be PDFs, Powerpoints, spreadsheets, and lots of email and some social media. He's the CEO of an international organization with 5 country offices and this is a bit awkward for him as not everything can be shared with an assistant nor can things be put on hold till he recovers. They have a 7 year plan to deliver to the Board in a couple of weeks. Just MS Word would be lovely tbh.

Middlemarch, thank you for your suggestion, I will pass this tip on to him to see if he is able to upload docs received into Drive and test this. But my experience of Kenyan internet is that the cloud isn't as reliable when you've got a 5 or 10 thousand word document open.
posted by infini at 10:05 AM on May 12, 2016

Windows has a thing called Speech Recognition that does this, albeit probably not as well as Dragon.

Perhaps Philips Speechlive might work for him, and it has a free trial, and it's a month by month subscription which might work out better financially depending on his shoulder's prognosis.

E-speaking has a trial, as does SpeakToText, and if you google "voice recognition software trial" several more shareware/freeware options pop up. Here also is a list of alternatives to Nuance Dragon.

Basically, there are a ton of options, but it may be that none of them are as good as Dragon? Maybe someone with more experience in this field will come in and say :)
posted by hungrytiger at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thank you for all your suggestions. He tried out many of the apps in the links y'all shared, and is now pretty much doing okay (I met him a couple of weeks ago) but I am not sure I can mark this as resolved as there's still no Eureka style solution.
posted by infini at 5:35 AM on July 11, 2016

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