Using Speech Recognition and Voice Commands

The crew of the starship Enterprise thought nothing of talking to the computer that ran the ship and its systems. Windows Speech Recognition, a feature introduced in Windows Vista and available in all editions of Windows 7, comes closest to fulfilling that futuristic vision of computing. You won't be able to blast Klingon warships into space dust with voice commands, but if you set slightly more realistic expectations, we predict you'll be extremely impressed with Windows Speech Recognition.

Before you can get started, you'll need to have the right gear. The most important piece of equipment, naturally, is a high-quality microphone. Microsoft recommends a USB headset model for best performance. The headset ensures a consistent distance between your mouth and the microphone, and a USB connection has an all-digital signal path, unlike direct connections to an onboard sound card. Both factors increase your chances of success in accurate speech recognition .

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