Out-of-the-box uses for Dragon NaturallySpeaking

 All of us – or at least most of us – have heard of Dragon NaturallySpeaking and its use as voice recognition software in law offices.

 But there are many more uses for Nuance Corporation’s Dragon!!

 Uses outside of a law office

I read a while back about how a husband whose wife was deaf was using Dragon to communicate with his wife while they were driving. Even though she could read his lips, she couldn’t use that facility in the car because she couldn’t see his lips while her husband was looking straight ahead while he was driving. What to do?

Solution: her husband put their laptop in the car, and, while they were driving, he would speak into a microphone – perhaps a lapel mike – and his wife could read what he was saying on the laptop screen. She could then orally answer and he could respond using Dragon. It changed their lives.

I just did a Google search, and found a variety of uses for Dragon on Nuance’s U.K. site. One of the user stories described in detail how a daughter communicated with her deaf mother using Dragon and a wireless mike.

Nuance has a page that categorizes user stories of how Dragon was used to improve the users’ creativity, their work, and their life.

One of the unusual stories detailing how life was improved was a story by a student who was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He used Dragon to complete his 107-page master’s thesis, and he noted that he could even use Dragon while laying down. He added: “It has truly been a new lease on life.”

Other stories include ones by a psychologist with chronic fibromyalgia, a multiple sclerosis patient, and someone with severe dyslexia. There are others, for a total of 9 pages of stories.

An out-of-the-box use in a law office

In addition to non-law office uses, I have come across an unusual use of Dragon in a law office. One time I was speaking with a secretary about Dragon, and she told me about the out-of-the-box way her office was using it. She told me that an attorney she worked for would often handwrite his papers and presentations. Rather than her typing them, as would be normal, she, as his secretary, was saving time by using the speech recognition software to herself dictate what the attorney had handwritten.

I’ve heard for a long time how attorneys have been using dictation software, but that was the first time I had ever heard about a secretary using it.

The Nuance U.S. site also includes a number of stories of how others with physical challenges have changed their lives and have become able to work in law and other offices.  It also includes stories of how one lawyer has used Dragon and has eliminated his need for a full-time secretary .

See a review and demo videos

You can see David Pogue’s New York Times review of Dragon version 10 here. You can also see his video review here.

You can also see video demos in English  or, if you want, a humorous version in Geman, an older version (9) in Italian,  and a current demo in Spanish. You can even see a demo of someone transcribing from an MP3 recorder to Dragon.

Please comment on other uses

It would be interesting to hear stories of how law and other offices use Dragon to communicate with clients, witnesses, or office personnel. Please add a comment that might help others if you have any such stories.