Dragon and hands-free computer use…

Hi guys,

I’m wondering what the best configuration is for complete hands-free computer use to go along with Dragon.

MY VOICE USER BACKGROUND: I became paralyzed from the neck down and a full-time ventilator user in August 1997. During rehab, I was introduced to a computer running the old DragonDictate classic edition, and was shown how to write basic macros, i.e. “mouse location, click” commands, and single or multi step keystroke commands. Even though DragonDictate classic edition was last copyrighted in 1997 (which means it never “saw” Windows 98) I managed to write macros for it to work well with Windows 98, 2000, and XP. Because I had written literally thousands of commands, I was very slow to adopt Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I think I actually purchased a couple NaturallySpeaking versions, but never fully switched until Dragon Pro 12.5 came out a half-dozen or so years ago (I think).

I finally switched because (1) I knew that I couldn’t keep using DragonDictate classic forever, (2) KnowBrainer had many of the commands I wrote in DragonDictate classic, (3) I learned about SpeechStart+ being able to turn my microphone on and off, and also restart Dragon when frozen – which is awesome since I cannot use my hands – and (4) of course my dictation speed would improve significantly with NaturallySpeaking, despite being a ventilator user and generally only able to enunciate well in shorter phrases versus long sentences (still an improvement versus one word at a time).

CURRENT VOICE USER SET UP: I am running DPI 15 with KnowBrainer 2017 (or whatever the latest is) and SpeechStart+. KnowBrainer launches DPI 15. SpeechStart+ launches both of them when Dragon freezes or has an issue. I’m using an M-Tech i7-6700HQ 2.60 GHz laptop with 32 GB RAM on Windows 10.

VOICE USER NEEDS: although I am slow to adopt new programs (see above background) I am always wanting to do things more efficiently and faster. But I require 100% hands-free use (I really dislike needing a caregiver’s hands in order to do something on my computer). I have a job and multiple responsibilities and hobbies, but finally made time to research VoiceComputer and I read the entire thread “Dragon and VoiceComputer” as a primer, after watching half a dozen videos on YouTube. I DEFINITELY want to use InTags, but I’m not sure how well it will “play” with KnowBrainer and SpeechStart+?

I would like to add either InTags or VoiceComputer and use it in conjunction with KnowBrainer and SpeechStart+ if possible. But candidly, while KnowBrainer does have plenty of useful commands, I honestly don’t know how many I actually use, and it seems like InTags will increase my general speed and efficiency, plus I can write commands in DPI when needed. So if they don’t play well together, I’m thinking I might prefer VoiceComputer over KnowBrainer (if forced to choose)… but do I need VoiceComputer or just InTags?

Unless VoiceComputer can independently restart Dragon and also turn my microphone on and off, then SpeechStart+ remains imperative. Granted, I am new to these boards, but I didn’t see anything mentioning SpeechStart+ and I sure hope that SpeechStart+ and VoiceComputer play well together. I also really like the “window relocation” commands in SpeechStart+ e.g. “right/left/top/bottom half”, “middle”, etc. and I do use their “show flags” and “show taskbar” a fair bit. I noticed one of the VoiceComputer videos had someone saying “show numbers” and I’m wondering if that would conflict with SpeechStart+ or if there is an alternative way to deploy InTags?

THAT SAID, stability and usability are also big issues for me, as I don’t like to “bother” caregivers more than necessary (so frequent changes to my system and testing of different components are things I am reluctant to bother them for) which is partly why I stuck with DragonDictate classic for so long (see my background above if curious). Point being, I want to try to “get it right” as quickly as possible, regarding the addition of InTags at least, if not VoiceComputer.

Thank you guys for any insight you can offer.

Bill

Hi Bill,

We believe that VoiceComputer / Intag is the most complete and easiest to use hands-free speech application available.
VC/Intag have:
The Voice Mouse.
Much faster and more complete than Dragon’s mouse feature, the Voice Mouse gives you hands-free control of up to three monitors (with an optional screen grid feature that lets you access anyplace on your screen with a single command).
Intags, My Intags
The most complete and fastest numbering technology available. Intags gives you access and control of more applications and controls than any other technology. One example, Intags gives you complete control of Outlook 2013 or 2016, including individual messages, links and appointments. (The control is not quite as complete in older versions of Outlook.) Intags automatically refresh as you move through an application or switch from one application to the next. My Intags let you make any application Window accessible (by voice with no scripting.) We also have an Intag extension for Chrome that gives you hands-free control of Gmail and many other applications.
Our Intags include the most complete (and patented!) ‘Window Relocation’ commands available. You can even create your own relocation commands.
> I do use SpeechStart’s “show flags” and “show taskbar” a fair bit
We have an “Intag taskbar” or just “zero” command that Intags the taskbar and system menu. Our next release, within a month, will raise the bar yet again.
What’s the ‘show flags’ feature?
>Unless VoiceComputer can independently restart Dragon and also turn my microphone on and off,
Our VC/Intag Microphone does this. It can restart Dragon when Dragon has crashed; it can restart VC/ Intag if that has crashed and can also restart your computer.
BTW, how reliable have you found the SpeechStart microphone? Does the SpeechStart Mic sometimes open the Dragon microphone when you don’t want it to?
Some of our users have had problems with our microphone feature because our documentation for the VC/Intag Mic is not as clear as it should be. We are still working on this. But, I’d be willing to help you through the configuration process.

Intag is a ‘lite’ version of VoiceComputer. VoiceComputer includes two major features that are not included in Intags. 1) A complete training and help system for Dragon; 2) Hundreds of productivity commands. (In fact, it has 10K commands but most of them were disabled when we introduced our Intag features.

VoiceComputer probably would be the better choice for you since it has a lot of productivity commands that would help you. We offer both a 10-day trial and a 30-day money back guarantee.
Let us know if you have any questions!


Thank you Ron for the reply and info.

To answer your questions… “show flags” is similar to show numbers or show circles in SpeechStart+, just different visuals, and some are static and some flash.

I have found the SpeechStart+ microphone to be very reliable. To my knowledge, the only wake up command for SpeechStart+ to turn the Dragon microphone on from the off (red) state is “microphone on”. That’s four syllables and is hardly ever mistaken for random speech, plus as noted, I have found it to be very reliable.

Can you give examples of your “window relocation” commands?

Also, do you know if VoiceComputer works/plays well with SpeechStart+? I would be leery of uninstalling it, but if you can replicate the essential features I need, then I guess I can.

Thanks,
Bill

Bill,

First, VoiceComputer does everything that SpeechStart+â„¢ does, albeit slightly differently. That is, we have our own microphone control (VC microphone) that is completely configurable, but requires no training. Its purpose is to turn the microphone on and off just like SpeechStart+â„¢, as well as access and control the VoiceComputer Control Center, which also has the same capabilities to shut down, restart, restart Windows, shut down Windows and restart Dragon if and when Dragon stops responding. Note that these are all speech-enabled by either saying the option if Dragon's microphone is off, or by using the InTags if the Dragon microphone is on.

Yes, you can use SpeechStart+â„¢ with VoiceComputer as long as you to disable the VC microphone. The choice is yours and is easily configurable. However, SpeechStart+â„¢ is a multiple configuration utility, wherein the VC microphone functions strictly as a microphone control, but does allow you to access the VoiceComputer Control Center even when the microphone is turned off (red).

VoiceComputer's numbering technology (InTags/My InTags) is more dynamic than that in SpeechStart+â„¢:

1. VoiceComputer's numbering technology automatically refreshes the assigned numbers, whereas SpeechStart+â„¢ does not.

2. VoiceComputer can make use of our Chrome extension, which numbers links and automatically refreshes the numbers in Google Chrome webpages. VoiceComputer also allows you to switch between numbering links and numbering the menu bar in Google Chrome for complete access. SpeechStart+â„¢ can only number the menu bar.

3. VoiceComputer numbers and automatically refreshes the numbers in Microsoft outlook such that all emails are numbered, SpeechStart+â„¢ does not. Also, all mouse commands (i.e., left click | right click | drag numbers and more, etc.) are available, along with the capability of using "control click" and "shift click" to select emails in the Outlook inbox. In addition, VoiceComputer lets you scroll down through your emails after selecting the first email from which you want to scroll and then use the "control click | shift click" commands to select specific emails with no limits on the number of emails that can be selected. You can then "drag all select emails to a particular folder in bulk or delete them in bulk and VoiceComputer shows you (i.e., drag command) exactly where they're coming from and going to by virtue of drawing and arrow showing you the from/to. I could go on and on but you get the basic idea.

4. Yes, we support multiple monitors (up to three). In addition, if intags are displayed in a particular application window, when you move it to a second or third monitor, the intags follow and remain refreshed.

5. VoiceComputer has ways of accessing files, folders, favorites, etc., as well as being able to use our "place commands" to relocate such. For example, if you have Microsoft Word open and you want to move it to the left side of the display, all you have to do is say "place window left", or "place window right" etc. you can also change focus on applications displayed by saying "place focus left | place focus right, etc. nevertheless, there are more window relocation commands in VoiceComputer that would take more space to list here. Nevertheless, with VoiceComputer you have full access to the VoiceComputer help for any VoiceComputer commands, which give you a complete explanation and examples, as well as and including videos and demos.

Lastly, VoiceComputer's InTags/My InTags are fully configurable in terms of color, background, and transparency, work well in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome.

Note that "microphone on" being four syllables in SpeechStart+â„¢ may make it reliable, but it's not because there are four syllables in the command. It's because the command itself is reliable in and of itself. VoiceComputer's VC microphone can be configured, but generally works well and extremely reliable with the simple command "wake up". We use Dragon's microphone off to turn the microphone off (red), which is identical to SpeechStart+â„¢. Both SpeechStart+â„¢ and VC microphone are based on the Windows Speech Recognition (WSR) speech engine, which allows both to function in exactly the same way.

One thing to keep in mind is that no user of Dragon who also includes either KnowBrainer 2017, SpeechStart+â„¢, VoiceComputer, etc. uses all of each or every application. Also, keep in mind that the more third-party applications you install and run at the same time, the more potential for issues, conflicts, and problems.

<edited><editID>Chucker</editID><editDate>2017-05-17 13:31:07</editDate></edited>
> Can you give examples of your "window relocation" commands?

From our "Show Voice Windows" command list
(You can view all of VoiceComputer's commands as you work with our interactive help and training.)

Positioning active window commands
Place Window
Place Window on screen | monitor

Multiple Monitors
Place Window on (monitor)
Place Window on screen | monitor
Example
Place Window on two

To size the window you're working in by saying:
Make Program Bigger/Smaller
Make Program Wider/Narrower

Taskbar positioning commands
8 Left
4 Right
13 Monitor two

Archived (inactive) commands include:
Place Window upper left, lower right,
Place Window on monitor two left

Our scripting language lets you create your own custom commands

For example the following command places the Window at the top left corner of the monitor, at half the width and full height











> THAT SAID, stability and usability are also big issues for me, as I don't like to "bother" caregivers more than necessary (so frequent changes to my system and testing of different components are things I am reluctant to bother them for)

Since this would be a major transition for you:

If you would like to try out VoiceComputer, I would suggest a 3 step approach:

1. Read our VoiceComputer Microphone documentation
2. Download VoiceComputer.
3. With your caregiver's assistance, test out and configure our microphone feature, but not the rest of the product. (One of us could log into your computer to assist you.)
4. Continue to test out our microphone.
5. Once you have our microphone feature working the way you want it, do several dry runs with VoiceComputer (With your caregiver's assistance) - without SpeechStart or KnowBrainer. (Use our "Show Main Menu" to get the help and training you'll need.)
6. Get support if needed.
7. Make the switch to VoiceComputer only when you're completely comfortable with VoiceComputer

Thank you Chuck and Ron for the responses and info, I appreciate it.

I do believe the InTags technology will increase my efficiency, and thus, ultimately result in more time as well, but I have several “life issues” that need to be resolved before I can put time and energy into altering my computer set up.

I plan to be back and to continue this discussion and become a VoiceComputer user, but candidly, I’m not sure how long it will take to resolve these more pressing issues, and I did not want to disappear indefinitely from this thread without a little explanation.

Thanks,
Bill

Bill,

You're welcome. We'll be here if you have any more questions or concerns.

However, the most important thing is to take care of yourself first. It's more important to take care of your health than anything else.

Be good and take care.