Tag Archives: Technology

Speech Recognition Tech Life Hacks to Make Your Computer Talk and Write by Itself

A good part of everyone’s day is now spent typing and reading on computers, smartphones, tablets and other sundry communication devices. Use these tech life hacks to improve your communication medium and save you from carpal tunnel syndrome and thick glasses.

Siri may hear what you need and bring that up, but that kind of interface functionality doesn’t cover the usage of specific applications. For example, if you happen to use productivity suites a lot, Siri won’t help you with all the grunt work of typing up stuff.

What you can do is use the built-in “speech to text” aka speech recognition tool in Windows. It’s pretty simple to start using – set up the microphone, then click start->control panel->ease of access->speech recognition. Take the speech tutorial and follow the instructions.

That’s the easy part. The hard part is getting your computer to understand your speech. It has to understand your accent and the way you speak, so it takes some time to build up the dictionary based on a lot of talking.

Once you’re done, you’ll be able to issue verbal commands to your computer and get it to type up documents as you speak. It works fine once you have your dictionary filled up with spoken words which the tool interprets correctly. But until then, you might want to proofread everything carefully and make changes manually for words which the speech to text tool has screwed up.

You can also get your computer to talk back to you, so that you don’t have to stay focused on the screen all the time. You could be multi-tasking and doing other stuff while the computer reads out letters and emails to you. All you have to do is customize the quick access toolbar in MS-Word to add the speak command. It’ll start reading aloud anytime you select text and click the speak command.

Cleaning cable clutter

In frustration of my power strip constantly falling off my desk, I began the hunt for a DIY solution to not only keep it in place and hide the cords, but to find a crafty way to incorporate design, and without having to buy anything new. In my search I discovered a few clever and charming options:

Shoebox

Photo: Violet Ashes

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