Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tech Column: Why Type?

Some schools are no longer teaching cursive writing -- you know, that quaint thing we call script. Instead, kids learn to master the keyboard at an early age.

But it will soon be the case that typing itself will be an historic relic. Computers are getting better at recognizing speech, and dictating to a computer is often much easier, faster and even more accurate than typing.

Have you tried Google voice search on your iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile device? Once you do, you'll never go back to using the keyboard. (Though you do need a quiet environment and a standard American accent to make voice search work right.) If you have Dragon Dictation on your smartphone, you'll find that it's better than the desktop dictation program by the same name. Dictation on a smartphone is often more accurate than using desktop dictation software because your spoken words are transmitted to the company's servers, which are more powerful than your desktop computer.

But what I really wanted to write about today is the combination of Evernote and Voice2Note, which transcribes dictated notes: Speech to text made easy. The notes you create with Evernote, one of the best note-taking programs around, are available on your desktop, the Internet, your smartphone -- anywhere you want them. Evernote's always been an amazing service, but now that it's possible to dictate notes and have them transcribed, it becomes an incredible program -- something out of the future.

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