Over the last several years I've been dealing with various stages of disability thanks to ALS. My goal is to share solutions and review various products/tools/devices that I have found particularly helpful.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Old IPhone, New Life As Dedicated Dragon Mic

Back in July, I did a post about various microphones for use with Dragon naturally speaking. Some working better than others. The one microphone, that has always impressed me for its ability to comprehend what I'm saying but has been terribly convenient was the dragon microphone app for iPhone. The reason I found it not terribly convenient was because my screen lock would time out and locked my iPhone. Shutting down the microphone, often in midsentence.

Yes, I could easily go into the settings and change the timeout time. But the pain in the butt is that I
would have to do this every single time. Not to mention, I would have to remember to set it when I'm done. Not terribly convenient.

Then, for some reason the other day it dawned on me that I had by old iPhone 3GS sitting around doing nothing. So I decided to install the Dragon microphone app, and plug it into my PC to give constant power (not that it really needs this as the battery is still good) then I changed the lock screen timeout to "never".

This is working out really quite well. As a matter of fact, I'm using it at the moment and the recognition is near 100% simply sitting on my desk nowhere near my mouth and I'm speaking at a regular volume.

The only downside I have encountered so far is that I can no longer use the on-screen microphone button nor the keyboard on my PC to toggle the microphone on or off. I have to touch the iPhone. It does however respond very well to the "go sleep" and "wake up" commands. Unfortunately however, the Dragon Does not allow you to use your iPhone as a regular mic to your PC. Only interfaces with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Which is fine for me!

All in all, this is a great way to recover some use of the old technology. It was destined to be a toy for my three-year-old (cracked screening and all) or be recycled as it now has no resale value. This way I can use it just about every day when I'm in front of the computer, greatly extending its life and utility for me.

Don't have an old iPhone? All that you can find one which is off plan for cheap on craigslist, kijiji or the like ;-)

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