Philips SpeechControl v3.2 and Dragon NaturallySpeaking


Update 09/2017
SpeechControl version 4.0.400.20 is now available for download from the Philips website.

In July of 2013, Philips Speech Processing Solutions (SPS) released Speech Control Version 3.2 Build 320.40.  This release includes 3 New Features and 3 Feature Enhancements.  The Speech Control, previously known as Device Control Center, is an application that allows users to customize Philips hardware like, Foot Pedals, Digital Pocket Memos and SpeechMikes.

Available as a free download, the Speech Control application takes integration with Dragon® Medical Practice Edition and Dragon® NaturallySpeaking to the next level by allowing users to customize and automate advanced features with the press of a button, making it a must-have for professional users.  It’s a simple interface that runs seamlessly in the background, enhancing the functionality of several Philips devices.

Although, Speech Control is available for PC and Mac users, Version 3.2 Build 320.40, as discussed in this blog, is specifically for PC users.

The first of three new features is support for Philips 8000 Pocket Memo.  Users lucky enough to have gotten their hands on this new voice recorder can use the Speech Control application to customize the buttons on the digital pocket memo to interact with their applications.  New default settings are pre-programmed for use with Dragon®, however; users can create multiple schemes to work with the application of their choice.

Windows 8 Support is now supported with Version 3.2 Build 320.40.  By now, many of us have had the opportunity the work with Windows 8 and whether you love or hate it, the new Speech Control application supports it.  Support has been provided for both 32-bit and 64-bit Pro and Enterprise editions.  Sorry, but Windows 8 RT isn’t supported as it doesn’t contain all required binaries.  Microsoft Surface and other tablet users will have to find another alternative.

Dragon® NaturallySpeaking v12.5 Support is the last of the three new features found in this new version and build.  This provides full compatibility with the latest version of Dragon® NaturallySpeaking, as of 8.13.13.

As far as feature enhancements go, Version 3.2 includes a number of Dragon interface enhancements to increase the interface stability with Speech Control.  SPS reports that failure tolerance measures were incorporated to automatically recover potential communication errors between the two applications.  This is great news for us speech recognition users.

Another useful enhancement is the ability to enable and disable the Dragon interface.  This is a helpful enhancement if you are one of the few users not using speech recognition software. Users can right-click on the Speech Control icon in the System Tray to display this new option.

Last, but certainly not least is the disabled minimize button.  In their recent Partner Release Notes, the SPS team confirmed that some customers reported commands were not handed over to Dragon, if the Speech Control’s window was running in ‘minimized mode’ in the Taskbar.  This led them to simply remove button all together.  I haven’t run into the reported issue but it’s good to know that it has been addressed.

I’ve got to give credit to the SPS team as they are always receptive to bug reports and feature enhancement requests.  It’s comforting to know that they actually listen to our reports and suggestions then use that information to create a better product.  Speech Control v3.2 Build 320.40 is a prime example.

I’d had the pleasure of testing it for a couple of months now and I can attest that Speech Control v3.2 Build 320.40 is the best yet.  I’ve been around since the initial conception of what is now called Speech Control and I’m amazed to see how far this technology has advanced in the last decade.  As a tech geek, I can’t help but anxiously await their next move.

If you do not have a Philips compatible device, contact your Certified Philips Dealer today to get your hands on one.  If you do not have a Certified Dealer, we can get you in touch with one of our Elite Certified Partners.