Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dragon Naturally Speaking Enhances Road Trips for the Deaf

I saw this very innovative application of Naturally Speaking in David Pogue's column highlighting some of the email he has received:

"My wife and I discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking about 8 years ago, and have been using it successfully ever since-- not for dictation, but as a communication aid. My wife is deaf; her hearing loss began about 25 years ago (we are in our late 60's) and she has become a skillful lip reader to compensate. That works pretty well in face-to-face communication, but is not helpful in many other situations, such as when we are driving; when I drive, I give her a side view, which isn't clear enough.

I've made brackets to hold a laptop both in our car and motor home. I use a lapel mike to speak; NaturallySpeaking transcribes what I say. She reads what I'm saying, and then responds by voice. When we got this working, it was the first time in 15 years that we could converse on the road. We are now using version 9, having upgraded several times, and based on your report, we will watch for version 11!"

This is an excellent example of "thinking outside the box" when trying to develop adaptive technology applications for the physically challenged. I join David in saying "Holy cow. That is truly an ingenious solution! Congratulations, and best wishes to you both!"

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