Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance is a fantastic speech recognition program that improves your productivity while the Gaming Speech Pack gives you voice commands to several hit titles.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 23/25
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 is the latest version of the popular speech recognition software that is available with a Gaming Speech Pack for popular current games. The Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home edition is a basic but fully featured speech recognition package that includes a good but not great headset.
The Gaming Speech Pack uses the Dragon software and an extra program that interfaces between your game and speech recognition for gaming use. The Gaming Speech Pack only works on a limited set of games but it works great to add a quick way to control many gaming functions.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 is a speech recognition program that allows for control of programs, operating system functions and dictation to popular software. You can navigate your computer, open programs, dictate into Word or Excel and much more with NaturallySpeaking.
The Gaming Speech Pack allows you to perform single keystrokes by voice that allows you to skip those precious split seconds for actions. Games that work with the Gaming Speech Pack are Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Black Ops, Mass Effect 2, Medal of Honor Tier 1, MS Flight Simulator X, Pacific Poker, Second Life, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction’s, War Hammer 40,000 Dawn of War Series and World of Warcraft.
The Gaming Speech Pack is great and works well but only works on the eleven games with no word from Nuance or Voxenable if more games are going to be added in the future. Hopefully they will add more games in the future but if you are an avid fan of any of the ones offered the Speech in gaming can be a real game changer.
Installing Dragon NaturallySpeaking is pretty fast from the enclosed CD but the Voxenabled Gaming Speech pack needs to be downloaded from the internet. Installing was easy and both the gaming speech pack and NaturallySpeaking takes more than just a few minutes for learning how they work as well as training to use them. You need to run through the programs included tutorials and setup to make sure the program works and works well with your voice.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a somewhat long learning curve as you need to change how you generally use programs but once you get the hang of things it works well. Opening and using programs through voice is a different way to do things on computers but it does work a bit better and much faster.
Dictating into programs like Word, Outlook and Excel works well but like all the rest of the program you do have this learning curve you need to get through. Dictation for a Word document works well but like everything correcting mistakes from the program is actually easier for me by keyboard.
I found that dictation worked well and when reading through my work, whether its email or this article it is actually easier for me to correct both my own and the programs mistakes using a keyboard. NaturallySpeaking does not make many mistakes but it does, you need to correct these somehow and using the keyboard is actually faster for me.
In time it may be easier and faster using the voice commands but until I learn more of them using the keyboard is faster, there are a lot of commands and using shortcut printouts is about the only way to navigate all the various commands. There are a lot of different commands and now shortcut sheets litter my desk with the various programs and even the gaming functions.
Gaming also works well, actually the gaming works the best with the ability to control gaming functions with voice commands that make me faster in first person gaming. Gaming for things like movement using arrows or the WASD keys of a keyboard really works best but for some functions like reload, changing weapons and throwing grenades voice commands are fantastic.
I have tried Call of Duty Black Ops and Microsoft Flight Simulator X and it works very well as a new type of controller but it does have a slight pause. Voice commands for things like reload, grenade or changing weapons in Black Ops works just fine but does happen about a half second after speaking the command.
Similarly in Flight Sim X when you tell your aircraft to lower gear or put out flaps the command and the action are a bit apart which is no big deal in the flight simulation. When playing first person shooters you do need to take into account the slight pause in order to game effectively.
This pause is long enough that you can use it while gunning or working in a first person shooter but it also can work against you. The pause is long enough to have to take into consideration but is not nearly as long as the pause and regrouping when I have to take my eyes off the screen to look at my keyboard.
While gaming I often look down to reload, change weapons or other actions that are not the default finger positions I use while gaming. Many times I don’t have to look down but when action gets heavy and I am moving my fingers away from the main movement keys I find I need to look down on occasion.
The eleven or more games currently in the list use commands and have everything that you can do by voice spelled out in the online manuals and help for each game. I simply printed the list of commands and used them in game and my gaming did improve quite a bit using the voice commands.
Gaming is just one of the great programs that you can use voice commands with as long as you purchase the gaming pack that is available as a bundle with NaturallySpeaking. Currently Nuance has a sale for the Home edition and the Gaming Pack but even without the sale this is a great purchase.
I am using Windows 7 64 Bit and have had no problems with the NaturallySpeaking program for gaming, dictation as well as browsing the internet. NaturallySpeaking and the Gaming Pack works well but one question I would have is the price worth it when Windows 7 comes with speech recognition.
If you have a need for voice commands to make your work more productive the NaturallySpeaking program could make work for you faster and easier. I found dictation worked very well and it does make writing a bit easier, I do need to get used to it but it actually works faster than typing.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking does have a few more commands, integration with more programs and several other features that make it a top choice. Accents make a big difference in speech recognition and Dragon has worked hard to get more accurate and have a broader range of features than the free version that comes with Windows.
If you are using Windows and find you need more than what Microsoft offers then Dragon NaturallySpeaking probably has the features you need in speech recognition. Dragon NaturallySpeaking has more features and a better, wider range of speech recognition that is better if you need more than a basic set of features.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a true work productivity program and takes speech recognition into the professional area of programs while the Gaming Speech Pack adds the voice commands to some games. I highly recommend Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance as a fully featured speech recognition program and the Gaming Speech Pack is a great way to improve your gaming but for a limited number of games.