Tonight Dereck Austin returned with the release of Nuance’s Dragon Dictate version 13.
We were recipients of the first public demonstration of version 13 in Australia. The official announcement was scheduled for tonight, our time, in Boston.
Before Dereck we had a surprise presentation of a wonderful new Australian invention, the eButton.
The inventor Ian Kenny
ran us through this amazing tool for the elderly or those who may be in dangerous situations.
This is a vast improvement over the usual medical alert devices. Generally those devices send an alert back to a monitoring base, have an ongoing cost, and only send one message. The eButton is much more flexible and has no ongoing costs.
Here’s how it works. The eButton is a Bluetooth device which the user can hang around their neck or carry on their person. When triggered the button sends a signal to the owner’s android phone and it sends an SMS that a problem has arisen to any number of chosen recipients.
The SMS will contain details of the location of the owner. Any recipient can ring back and confirm the problem. The nearest recipient can drop in and check on the owner’s condition. Once one person on the list has answered no further messages are sent. A safe word can also be included for those in shock, in distress, or under duress.
Ian spoke about those handling money. A robber tells you to answer the phone, if you don’t use the safe word your contact knows you’re still in trouble and can take action. The other example is someone who has had a fit or blackout. While they think they are OK they are still too disoriented to remember the safe word.
The real advantage of this system is its mobility. Any time a problem arises and you are away from home the SMS will include a GPS location, address or Google map if you are in a rural area.
The eButton runs on Bluetooth Ver 4.3. When asked a question about interference with other Bluetooth devices Ian said that there were no known interference problems. The only problem is the eButton will not work on iPhone because, at this stage, you have to find the iPhone and hit send.
The eButton is $29.95 plus $7.20 postage with a twelve month warranty. The app is in constant development and has a lifetime warranty.
There is also a PDF user guide under support
After the break Derrick Austin
took the stage with Nuance’s Dragon Dictate Version 13.
The launch of Version 13 was scheduled to take place in Boston around 5 am our time that night so we were privileged to have the first public demonstration in the world. Derrick started the demonstration with the audio devices you need to use Dictate. In previous versions changing audio devices was a multistage process. With Version 13 you can simply plug in your chosen audio device and Dragon is right on it, no complicated change-over procedure.
Dragon will now accept the audio devices you choose to use without complicated ritual. The power of the audio settings has been enhanced and to demonstrate that, Derrick abandoned the traditional headset microphone which comes with Dragon and used the inbuilt microphones in his laptop. The result was impressive.
Those of you familiar with Dragon will remember that you needed time to train Dragon to understand your voice. That time has dropped significantly over the years. Tonight Derrick had Dragon trained up in less than one paragraph. There is a whole new tutorial which has been expanded with information on spelling, editing, and other tasks.
The old Side Bar has been renamed Learning Center
The interface has also had a makeover and the controls
can be shrunk but will expand on a mouse over.
He then went on to display Dragons power and its usefulness in programs such as Microsoft Word.
Using the voice command “Start Microsoft Word”
Dragon opened Word and Derrick started dictating a document,
“set font size to 24” “new paragraph” “full stop” etc. he even played back his own dictation to show the accuracy of Dragon.
What about other programs? Derrick went on to use the Google Gmail and dictated and e-mail to a friend.
Again with the voice command “Open Google Chrome” the Chrome browser opened. Using voice commands with browsers is notoriously problematic especially as browsers change their structure so frequently. Derrick mentioned that when you first use Dragon in a browser like Chrome or Firefox it will ask you to install a Dragon extension. This allows Dragon to “keep up” with the rapid changes in these programs.
Not all programs respond to Dragon commands. Dragon can open a text box to dictate into and the text can then be copied and pasted into another program. In demonstrating Chrome, Derrick showed the use of these text boxes to search URLs and type text in mail programs such as Gmail. He asked Chrome to go to Sydney Observatory
and then demonstrated how easy it was to scroll through the web page and go to the links contained in that page. While not all the voice commands worked according to plan especially as there was a fair amount of acoustic noise in the room, what it did show was that even in a very noisy room Dragon could tell what was said without major confusion.
To show the power of Dragon’s search capacity Derrick asked Dragon to search the page for reference to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Dragon then went straight to Google to show the results.
To finish off Derick asked Dragon to draft a tweet and when he finished the dictation Dragon asked if it was correct and would he like to post it.
Dragon 13 launched with a special upgrade price and bonus software. Derrick generously made the upgrade offer available to our members. The Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium edition and a bonus copy of Password Genie for $99.95. A link has been mailed to all the members.
Derrick generously donated three copies of Dragon Dictate 13, once they shipped later this week.
Our three lucky winners are
Malcolm, Ronald and James.
But don’t forget if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, if you’re a member you can still get a copy of Dragon for $99.95 until 1st September.
The eButton was taken home by
with the door prize going to