For quite some time I had been trying to figure out how to use a headset with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking remote microphone app. While the remote app frees me from being tethered to the computer when dictating, I ran into the problem of having only one hand free. The other hand is stuck holding the mobile device close enough to my mouth for the software to pick up my dictation.
An Evolution in Freedom
Many years ago when I was first introduced to NaturallySpeaking I marveled at the freedom of being able to write while away from the computer. That newfound freedom was just a teaser. I soon found I wanted to walk farther and farther away while dictating so I purchased a headset with the longest cord I could find. That still wasn’t good enough.
As technology evolved I purchased a wireless headset. While it provided more freedom, the wireless headset wasn’t very accurate. What’s the use of being free if when you review the dictation it’s nonsensical gibberish? So, to improve accuracy I went back to the wired USB headset.
When I joined the 21st century and purchased a smartphone, I was able to download and use the NaturallySpeaking remote dictation app. Not only did it untether me from my computer, but the app was extremely accurate. Problem solved, right? Well, not really. If I’m going to be free, I want to be truly free.
Working with one hand tied behind my back, or should I say held in front of my face was not true freedom. I wanted the ability to dictate and have free use of both hands. When I’m in the throws of dictating I tend to use my hands. That’s not so easy to do when one hand must remain in place.
To get around this limitation, I tried using the hands-free bluetooth headset that I use while driving. After all, if I could use it to talk on the phone, I should be able to dictate with it, right? Not so. NaturallySpeaking didn’t like my Bluetooth headset. I was back to reading nonsensical gibberish.
Enter the OTG Cable
I recently purchased a very inexpensive OTG cable. OTG stands for on-the-go (I actually had to look that up because I couldn’t figure out why an adapter would be called OTG). This small cable/adapter allows me to utilize the charging port on my mobile devices to plug in plug a full-sized USB device or peripheral. The inexpensive OTG cable solved my problem.
My goal in purchasing the OTG cable was to plug in a portable keyboard. The keyboard worked beautifully. While sitting there typing one day I thought, “Hmmm, if it’s a USB port, why not try plugging in my USB headset?” So I did. I was delighted to see that with the OTG cable I could dictate through the remote NaturallySpeaking app and the software was able to read it just as accurately as it did without the headset.
Viola! My hands are free to do whatever I’d like to do with them. I put my mobile device in my pocket (battery facing away from the body) and dictate to my heart’s content. I can dictate and use my hands to do other things like cook a meal, fold some clothes or even talk with my hands.
The noise-canceling feature of the headsets drowns out outside noises that previously distracted me. I’m more “in my head” with the headsets on than when dictating with one hand.
If you, like me, have the desire to free your hands and cancel out unnecessary noise, do yourself a favor and invest $7. For $7 you get two OTG cables instead of one. Or, if you’re really adventurous, pick up a dual USB cable. For only $5 you’ll be able to plug in your headset and your keyboard or mouse if you so choose (I have a dual USB cable and it works just fine).
I love it when little things make a big difference, don’t you?