Tuesday, July 06, 2004

IBM ViaVoice...

Well, well, well, this is certainly a new experience. Recently I've purchased software enabling my computer to be voice automated. This happens to be called IBM ViaVoice. But it apparently is quality software, albeit there are few errors that it makes every once in awhile. In fact this entire post has been composed from my speaking voice! Don't you think that's pretty cool?

Not only can you dictate to this program but you can also run programs with your voice. All I have to do is say 'Start Internet explorer' and Internet explorer starts! You can navigate your favorite sites with but a spoken word. In fact, you can even use ViaVoice to click on links in a Web page you're looking at. ViaVoice also has the ability to add words to its own vocabulary. It will even search all your documents for words that you commonly use in your work. This is particularly significant because, of course, I am a chemist, and I have to teach the program to recognize words tetrachlorobenzene. Fortunately, it's a pretty smart program. Even with a small amount of work that I have actually done with the program, it should be apparent that it is very, very cool.

One thing I would like to do with this software is to begin taking more frequent notes of what I read. The incentive to take detailed notes increases dramatically when you don't have to cramp your hand to complete the job. I think this alone makes ViaVoice very appealing. But furthermore, this makes dictating e-mail's, short essays, or long papers very simple. Collect your thoughts, and write! Or shall I say, talk! All in all, the program is very impressive.

If you're interested, IBM ViaVoice can be purchased very simply on eBay. Depending on which version you want, you can spend anything from $10 to $50 on the basic version for simple dictation, up to the professional version for Advanced Options. I purchased the advanced version for $30, and it seems to be a pretty good deal.

This ends the first-ever broadcast transcription of my blog! Hopefully, more of my post will be written like this. See you next time!