Microsoft Garage has been churning out some of the most innovative apps and technologies. The latest one is called the “Dictate”, and true to its name all it does is take dictation and convert the same into text. Well, Cortana does this anyway but Dictate is optimized to work with Office and is an app add-on. Starting now you can dictate words and the program will automatically transcribe it into words.
The best part is that one can also toggle other controls, for instance by speaking “next line” the cursor will shift to the next line, and the same holds good for punctuation as well. As of now, the Dictate supports 20 languages and real-time text translation for up to 60 languages. The Dictate was initially built during the Microsoft Hackathon which had seen more than 1,500 Microsoft employees participating in it. That being said we already have a handful of other companies rendering the same functionality and they are already much more advanced than the Dictate. Furthermore, one can also toggle the dictation mode off by saying “stop dictation.”
According to Microsoft Dictate makes use of “state of the art” speech recognition and artificial technology, both of which are essential components of Cortana as well. Additionally, the Dictate also makes use of the Bing Speech API and Microsoft Translator. The onset of AI-powered Dictation software will allow users to multitask, perhaps in the future, Microsoft can employ the same technology across their lineup including the OneNote and Microsoft To-Do.
Currently, the Dictate is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit with Windows 8.1 set as the minimum requirement. The app can be downloaded for free, and it would be interesting to see how the app will shape up in the future.