by July 4, 2002 0 comments

This is a voice-automation software for MS-Office (pre-Office XP) applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Internet Explorer. The software uses the IBM ViaVoice speech engine, so you have to install it before using Bathina. It comes with the Millennium edition OEM version of the IBM ViaVoice. A detailed user’s guide, command reference manual, and a microphone are also part of the pack. 

Installing the software is quite easy, but requires a machine reboot once completed. You also have to train IBM ViaVoice to recognize your accent for about 15-20 minutes before using Bathina. You can also train it further to increase the accuracy level. We found that with the initial training, it gave us 90% accuracy level, which rose to 95% after advanced training. The accuracy was calculated by determining the total number of words and the number of errors in the sample paragraph we spoke.

You can browse websites using VoiceAuto 

Price: Rs 10,999
Features: Works with MS Office applications, uses voice automation technology
Pros: Easy to use, 90% accuracy with basic training 
Cons: Doesn’t support Outlook Express
Contact: Bathina Technologies, Hyderabad. Tel: 040-6623456 

We found several interesting features in the software. For one, the number of voice commands required to complete a particular task is lower than conventional voice recognition systems. For instance, normally in order to save a file, you would first say ‘File’ to open the file menu, and then ‘Save’ to save the document. With Bathina, all you have to say is ‘Save document’. We then tried Web browsing through voice commands, which also happened quite smoothly. You can specify the specific site, and even click on links on its pages. The software has an extensive set of commands in its Command Reference Manual. In MS Office, we tried to change the file printing and page setup options, insert charts and tables and even set the fonts and border styles and widths. We were also able to attach MS Office files to Outlook e-mail.

The software also has a built-in software called Everest Smart kid, which is an interactive module for kids to enhance their General Knowledge. Unlike Dragon Naturally Speaking, Bathina VoiceAuto does not allow you to control your desktop, keyboard or mouse. Another thing we missed was support for Microsoft Outlook Express. 

The Bottom Line. With its performance and features and a price of Rs 10999, the software is a good buy. Also a part of the pack are legal and medical voice dictionaries.

Ankur Saxena at PCQ labs

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