What’s New for Philips?
The announcements came like bolts out of the blue. Philips Speech Processing Solutions recently produced a significant feature addition, a successful compatibility test for new software support, and a workaround for Mac users on the cutting edge.
I want to walk you through some of the highlights — but first, let me show you where you can access the documentation and updates I’ll be referring to:
- NEW SpeechControl v3.4.340
- NEW Firmware v2.50 for the SpeechMike Premium
- NEW SpeechControl Workbook
Each of these items can be accessed on our Philips resource page.
SpeechControl v3.8.380.14 is now available for download here.
SpeechMike Premium firmware v2.55 is now available for download here.
A New Feature for a New SpeechControl
In case you don’t know what SpeechControl is exactly, allow me to explain. SpeechControl — sometimes also known as the Philips Device Control Center — is the application that allows your computer to work effectively with your Philips SpeechMike. Basically, it enables all of the mic’s programmable button functionality.
Without it, you have a solid microphone for dictation, but not a well-developed solution for controlling Philips’ SpeechExec workflow software — or Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition system. Chances are good, though, that you already have this little piece of wizardry installed and relatively up to date.
What has Philips done then, you ask, in this latest version?
They’ve created something called “Keyboard Mode,” which is an operating status for the microphone which allows you to get all of that programmable button functionality, but without the need for SpeechControl to be running. Your SpeechMike Premium will be preloaded with default button assignments for Dragon — which you may deem perfectly suitable or in need of adjustment. All as you see fit, of course.
Of course, if you want the ability to work with Keyboard Mode, you’re going to need to have the latest firmware for the LFH 3500 series. More about that in just a moment.
So, what else does this new version of SpeechControl include?
- You now the ability to import and export SpeechMike settings. This means you can just configure everything once and then send that setup to as many SpeechMikes as you like.
- A simplified GUI
- An automatic update feature, so that you always have the latest version of SpeechControl moving forward
Overall, this is an important, albeit complex, release. The Keyboard Mode involves some exceptions and limitations that you’ll want to attend to before you can operate at full bore. For instance, Philips own SpeechExec software doesn’t support it. For the full overview, see the SpeechControl Workbook.
New Firmware for the SpeechMike
A lot of the fanfare belonged to the SpeechControl update; this new firmware, version 2.50, mostly just enables Keyboard Mode. But, there were two small fixes that the engineers at Philips snuck in:
- In rare cases, the accelerometer would think you picked up the SpeechMike when you hadn’t. No longer.
- Again, in rare cases, audio was not going from the microphone to the computer. This has been addressed in the software by making sure the connection is established when recording.
Dragon 13 Pro Now Supported
Perhaps the biggest news outside of Keyboard Mode is that Philips now gives a “thumbs up” of approval for the latest Windows-based version of Dragon speech recognition.
DNS 13 Pro is officially supported by Philips when using any of these applications:
- SpeechControl 3.3.330.08 or higher
- SEP 8.5
- SEE 4.5 SR2
Do note that there’s a minor issue with SEE and DRA files. It will be addressed in the very near future, so don’t fret.
Yosemite and DPM Connect Issue
Of course, it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. At the moment, DPMConnect4Mac v1.2.02 does not work with Mac OS X 10.10, otherwise known as Yosemite.
Just know that it will be fixed soon, and use this suggested workaround in the meantime:
When plugged in to your computer, the DPM 8000 recorder shows up as a USB device on your desktop, just like a jump drive. Find the white “Philips” icon, open it up, and copy the files you need from the device to your computer. Problem solved.
DPMConnect for Mac v1.5.01 supports OS X 10.11 and 10.12 (El Capitan and Sierra). Click here for instructions on how to get this update.