Voice control and dictation

Voice technologies are becoming more powerful every day. Siri, Cortana and Google are common voice recognition services but if you need to take control of your computer and use your voice to do things, then you need to look beyond these services.

Windows Speech Recognition

Windows Speech Recognition was introduced into Windows Vista, but only publicly announced in Windows 10.

In Windows Vista and 7, you can access the Speech Recognition control panel from Control Panel then Speech Recognition. In Windows 10, search for Speech Recognition.


In Sierra, Apple incorporated Dictation into the Keyboard settings. This enables you to press a key combination to enable a microphone that allows you to dictate to the computer. If you download the optional offline files, then your Mac can dictate even when you don’t have access to the Internet (as the online version uses Siri)

In Catalina, however, Apple replaced Dictation with Voice Control in the Accessibility settings. Unlike Dictation, Voice Control can be used for both dictation as well as controlling your computer using your voice.

You can turn on the grid and work with a grid of numbers on the screen, which makes it easy to zoom in or out, and menus gain a number for each menu item, so you simply tell the computer to open that menu, then the corresponding number.

Project Jarvis

Jarvis (J.A.R.V.I.S) is the name of the fictional computer from Iron Man. Jarvis Lite is an Artificial Intelligence Speech Recognition software that makes your computer look like Science Fiction, and unlike the other Speech Recognition software, it answers you back using Text to Speech (TTS) voices on your computer while it does the chosen action.

Jarvis Lite can be downloaded from ACW Technologies

Dragon: Naturally Speaking

Dragon is the oldest Speech Recognition program as it was originally created in 1975 by Dr James Baker.

Version 15 is available in 3 versions:

  1. Nuance Dragon Home for £140
  2. Nuance Dragon Professional for £350
  3. Dragon Medical Edition

In addition to Dragon Naturally Speaking, Nuance also have created Dragon Anywhere, which is a subscription based system for Android and iOS devices.

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