The ability to speak aloud and have the words you say appear on your computer screen, ready for editing into a final product, isn't new. Having it happen with 99% accuracy - that's a more recent development. And Nuance is the company that has accomplished this and made its speech-to-text software available at a reasonable price point for most consumers.
In fact, Nuance has produced a voice recognition software for several years now -- Dragon Naturally Speaking. I've used this over the years after learning about it from Paperback Writer (who recommends this software periodically over at her blog). Dragon Naturally Speaking consistently gets great reviews; in fact, the only real complaint of which I'm aware is that there is not a Mac version of the product.
PCWorld gave DNS 10 a rating of 4/5 with one of its two "cons" being that the software was "pricey." That's a complaint that has gone out the window.
It's true that usually this software costs over $100.00. However, Circuit City has a special deal that ends today. Today, you can order the speech-to-text software for $30.00. This is quite the bargain. And if you miss today's great deal, there's still a chance that you can scarf up a bargain using an online coupon.
Why would you use this? Who would use speech-to-text software?
Maybe you have carpal tunnel syndrome and a keyboard is painful.
Maybe you can't type fast.
Maybe you like to dictate.
Me? I like to dictate notes to myself from various research sources as I surf the web, saving here and there to One Note as I go. Saves me lots of time, really helps with organizing things. I'll also use speech to text on some projects, clean things up with the keyboard later.
These are uses that I have for an older version of Dragon. The latest version (DNS 10) also allows the user to dictate directly into Excel as well as Word, along with dictating emails directly in Outlook, updating the calendar, and searching in Google (and other sites like Wikipedia). It will also let the user -- using voice commands alone, no mouse and no keyboard -- to flip between applications (for example, check email in the midst of writing).
It's my understanding that there were some problems with installation on Windows Vista but Nuance helps you with good tech support (for free during installation) that helps overcome that hurdle and the latest version (the one on sale) supports Vista SP1 and SP2, 32-bit and 64-bit.
I'm gonna get it.