At the company's EMEA user conference in London today, Bighand launched its new Server-based Speech Recognition module aimed at organisations looking to further streamline administrative overheads in the current climate, or support an upturn in work as the economy recovers. The new voice-to-text module also supports voice submission from Blackberrys and smartphones, alongside traditional dictation hardware. The Bighand server-side speech recognition add-on is part of the latest v3.3 release of Bighand’s digital dictation workflow software.

The speech recognition module (which utilises the Dragon NatuallySpeaking Speech Server from Nuance Communications) includes both a speech recognition only option, where the Transcription Server sends the resulting text back to the author, as well as a speech recognition with proofing option where the Transcription Server sends the resulting text to a secretary.

The secretary performs any corrections, saves the document and then submits a copy of the corrected document. Once submitted the server-based speech file of the original author is upgraded, improving their results going forward. The author can still correct their own speech file if so desired. Moving the correction of the speech file to the secretary completely removes the time burden from the author and enables no change to their current working practices. As a result, even though there is minimal training, the author’s speech file continues to improve over time.

In testing the Transcription Server returned a 233 word initial recording with 178 words correctly recognized (76.4%). After the first correction, the transcription server improved to recognise 226 of the words (97%), and by the third submission the server based system recognised 232 words (99.6%).

The overall total cost of ownership of the new back-end or server-side speech recognition module is estimated to be as little as one third the cost of existing client-side/desktop speech recognition solutions. The module is licensed per user or per server, with minimal training required, no client-side installation and, subsequently, no loss of billable time. Additional features include Citrix & Terminal Services compatibility, document templates & bookmarks, acoustic modeling, vocabularies configured in Bighand System Administration, default and custom speaker profiles for different users of Bighand, and support for distributed Transcription Servers.

Aside from the Server-side Speech Recognition module other new features within BigHand 3.3 include:
•    Document attachments & links within the workflow
•    New search engine & User Interface improvements
•    Support for Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2
•    64-bit support extended to incorporate Terminal Client
•    Splitting of voice files & extended external sound file support
•    New & extended API for 3rd party developers