Advice needed re laptop & Voice recognition softwa

  Amber34 00:13 21 Oct 2008

Hi, I'm new, completely non-techie, and looking for some advice please. Bear with me on this, I'll try to explain as best I can.

In my work I visit clients then have to write up a report on each one at the end of the day.

I spend a lot of time driving between jobs and wondered if it is possible to rig up a system of using something like Dragon Naturally Speaking with a headset microphone wired to a laptop or notepad thingy so I can record the report whilst I drive. Then, when I get home I can transfer the data to my online forms (using a memory stick?)and cut down on the input time in the evenings.

Questions are:

1) does this sound feasible?
2) can you recommend a laptop or notepad that would be up to the job that wouldn't cost too much? I wouldn't need it to do much more than what I have already mentioned.

Thanks in advance.

  wiz-king 05:49 21 Oct 2008

No, to the first part. when you drive stick to that, it would not be safe to compute and drive.
The software is not good enough to cope with the variations in speech caused by driving.
You could have the form in a computer or on paper if it is a 'vote for Joe' type but don't try to fill it in while driving.

  €dstowe 07:31 21 Oct 2008

In addition, this type of software doesn't just hear what you want it to hear. It doesn't have any intelligence and thus doesn't know the difference between gears crunching, indicators clicking and the multitudes of other noises in a car with the things you are telling it. Result is a mish-mash of garbage words which can easily cause frayed composure on your part resulting in a loss of temper and then an accident.

I wouldn't even suggest using a tape recorder (or modern equivalent) whilst driving as this can also be very distracting.

  spuds 12:11 21 Oct 2008

I fully agree to what as already been stated.

Never drive and try to do other things at the same time, even though they may have in-car motoring aids. Your time might seem important, but so does other peoples lives and property.

Dragon was noted as being one of the best, but it as its limitations, because it as to be trained in the correct surroundings. Any slight variation to voice pattern (hump in road- lack of concentration!) could give a wrong comment and make the report useless.

  Amber34 12:15 21 Oct 2008

Thank you for your responses. You are all quite right and deep down I was a bit concerned about the legality/safety of doing this, but it's good to see it in black and white!

I shall have to go and think of another 'cunning plan'

Thanks again

  Condom 22:32 22 Oct 2008

I think the best you can probably do is dictate into a digital hand held recorder after you finish your meeting when things are still fresh in you rmind and before driving. Then when you get home transfer it to your PC using Dragon. Its not perfect but it can work.

  setecio 14:21 23 Oct 2008

There is a simple way to do this. If you put the headset on and then put on one of these suits, it should silence the extra car noises ;) click here

  setecio 14:22 23 Oct 2008

Oh yes, and I'd advise getting that illegal black glass to avoid drawing undue attention to yourself.

  danbrazier 09:17 26 Oct 2008

Based on my experience with the dragon software - i think it would probably do quite well at understanding what you're saying while you're driving.

It copes quite easily with me pausing for thought between sentences - so in theory you stopping your speech to conecntrate at a red light shouldn't really be a problem.

With the mobile editions (that come with a digital voice recorder, where you can then upload the sound file later and it'll sift through and translate to typed text) you can obviously then proof read and correct any small silly bits... meaning it should be capable of getting the bulk of your work done.

The main issue though is the concern of your safety and your likely lack of attentiveness to the road... I'm not one to preach on safe driving, as I'm not the best drivier in the world - but if you talk to your other half while you're driving, I can't see the difference.

I just wouldn't want to get pulled over and have to explain!

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