Why I Am Building DictationBridge

My name is Pranav Lal, I live in India and this is why I’m involved in the DictationBridge project, one to which I hope you contribute to by opening this link.”

I have been using speech-recognition for over a decade. I began using it seriously when I had a bout of repetitive stress injury (RSI). I remember the days when I had to speak slowly and very carefully to maximize accuracy. Most of my experience has been with Dragon Individual earlier known as Dragon Naturally Speaking because of my accent. Over the years, I have tried a variety of add-ons to enhance my speech-recognition experience. Once I had more or less recovered from my RSI, I began to appreciate its productivity benefits.

I recently changed to a situation where NVDA became my primary screen reader. Before I switched, I had been using it off and on, waiting for the features I needed to come in. When the ability to read Excel charts and the ability to handle track changes and other annotations came, I knew it was time to switch. The ability to hear the text processed by Dragon was the only missing feature I needed. DictationBridge’s primary function is to echo back the recognized text as a user dictates. This gives immediate feedback and helps me catch errors and confirm what I have dictated is correct. In the NVDA spirit, Dictation Bridge is free and open source and, therefore, will be extensible by individuals with programming skills and will come at no cost to end users.

You can do what you want with it therefore there are no barriers to the creation of novel applications. The other thing is that DictationBridge will bring dictation to people who traditionally would not have access to use this feature. Unfortunately, a large chunk of the world’s population falls into this category. Think of a blind quadriplegic or a blind child in rural India. NVDA is being distributed widely thanks to several non-governmental organizations and suitable government schemes. It is also a great tool to promote literacy. In India, according to some statistics there are 15 million blind people, 2 million are children. One out of three blind people in the world lives in India. Think of them using speech-recognition with echo back. The ability to read and write will no longer be a barrier and we can begin to bring this population into the mainstream.

Please contribute to DictationBridge.