People give voice recognition a bad name. I use it all the time. I took the typing test that Daniel Moth blogged about (typing test is here) typing the way I usually do. I can't type as fast as I could as my hands are a little rough, but I do OK for old hands.
Here's my results, first try, on a Natural (split) Keyboard:
YOUR RESULTS ARE:
Number of words typed: 217Test duration: 3 minSpeed: 72.6 words/min. (363 keystrokes/min.)Error penalty: 27Accuracy: 87.6%
Meh. I used to do 100, no longer. (Plus, it's a cheesy test because you have to read, manage the scrolling and spit it back out again on the keyboards. I got flummoxed with the scrolling. And I'm notoriously sloppy.
Here's the SAME test but using Vista Voice Recognition and a cheapo Logitech USB Headset Microphone (I didn't even use my $300 podcast microphone):
YOUR RESULTS ARE:
Number of words typed: 377Test duration: 3 minSpeed: 125.6 words/min. (628 keystrokes/min.)Error penalty: 42Accuracy: 88.9%
Note the number of errors. I know it's not 98% like some people, but I can almost double my personal typing speed with comparable errors using Voice Recognition.
Note that I only took these tests once each, both times cold, one with hands, one with voice and the test gave me different text each time.
You have to talk like a newscaster, but seriously, stop giving Voice Recognition a hard time. Videos of Voice Recognition trying to write Perl code are cutesy, but not reality. Yes, it'd be nice to have custom templates out there for writing code with voice (there are some) but CodeRush helps me greatly. Ultimately voice recognition is for things like blogs, email and prose.
Here's a VERY boring, very poor sound/visual quickie video of me actually taking the test. Note that I (gratuitously) stopped to correct two errors, using only voice in the middle. Otherwise I'd probably have gotten 140wpm. Sorry about the poor focus, I probably should have used Camtasia.
And yes, this blog post was written with voice recognition. So phooey on you. I encourage you to give it a try with a nice microphone, if even only for email and blog posts.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.