Enact Technology is unveiling a major expansion of its speak4 voice recognition software for graphic applications that include Autocad, Inventor, Solidworks, Sketchup, Photoshop and Indesign.
Speak4CAD is claimed to dramatically improve the productivity of Autocad and Autocad LT. The hallmark of Enact Technology's software is its innovative command grammar that generates an instant response - the technology is said to be dramatically faster and more accurate than dictation software, which has to search an entire language to find matching words.
Enact Technology has also developed a 'numbers recognition' grammar that eliminates the need for users to type complicated numerical expressions.
The company says that tests have proven that computer-based designers can significantly increase their drawing speed using voice commands. When productivity is measured comparing drawings done manually with similar drawings completed by speaking the commands and dimensions, the results are astonishing. There is a dramatic savings in time, and keyboard strokes and mouse clicks are cut by up to 70 per cent, which considerably lessens stress on a designer's wrists. Bruce Swan, senior development partner for Enact Technology, says: “We are one part of the speech recognition trend that Microsoft Vista will promote. In fact, speak4 literally breaks the sound barrier.”
Computer graphic applications are particularly difficult because of the natural conflict that occurs when using the mouse and keyboard at the same time - one hand is needed to type, the other manages mouse functions. Even the best typists look down at the keyboard when typing one-handed. Speak4 technology recognises spoken commands and mouse moves simultaneously, which leaves the user free to concentrate on design. CAD manager, Patrick Manganiello, says: “This is the first real improvement for the way I work - not some paste-on feature.”
Unlike speech applications that must search an entire language to find matching words, speak4 command grammars generate an instant response to spoken commands - and the numbers recognition grammar eliminates the need for users to type complicated numerical expressions. Mechanical designer, Cindy Berend, says: “Speak4 command grammars and numbers recognition grammar have entirely changed the way I work. I can now focus on drawing instead of the keyboard. It is a much more natural and focused way to work.”
Speak4 software for Autocad, Inventor, Solidworks, Sketchup, Photoshop and Indesign can be purchased now at the speak4cad.com website. It can also be tried without charge for 30 days. The software is Windows .Net based and does not alter the main application installation. A digital (USB) headset is required. A Windows Vista version of the software will be available soon.