Voice Technology for Ergonomics

Remember how I wrote a post about laptops and how they’re ruining our posture? And then I made a call to action to do better with our laptops in 2020? Well, I have been failing at that, until today.

After a few weeks of neck and shoulder pain that I can’t seem to get rid of, I finally took the (ridiculously easy) steps to enable dictation on my work and home laptops. Lucky for you, I use both Mac and PC, so now you can do as I’m actually doing, instead of just believing what I say (blog). Read on…

For my fellow Macbook pros, or any model Mac laptop, you can enable Enhanced Dication by clicking on the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation. When you’re there, turn on Dictation and choose the Enhanced Dictation option. It may take a few minutes to update itself.

I have read that you can use some voice controls as well as the dictation (voice to text) feature, but have not tried that out yet. Here’s some info straight from Apple on how to use the commands.

When you want to dictate text to your laptop, hit the Fn key twice and a microphone icon will pop-up, just start talking normally and the text will appear. That’s how I just typed this last sentence…

To set up Speech Recognition on your Windows computer, hit the Window icon key + H. If speech recognition is already enabled, a microphone will appear and the text will say “Listening.” If further settings need to be changed to enable this feature, that will be noted – just click and change the Settings as directed to enable the feature. Note that if you are using a company device, you may need an Administrator to assist you with completing this setting.

You could also try Apple’s Siri or Windows’ Cortana assistants to navigate your laptop or device by voice. I am an Android cell phone user and use Google’s Assistant frequently to set reminders and calendar entries.


I’m no stranger to using voice assistants, and use my Amazon Echo device in my home to add things to my grocery list, ask for weather updates (sometimes via Samual L. Jackson), listen to my favorite classical music playlist or podcast, check my news feed via Alexa Flash Briefing. The world of voice technology is only beginning to be tapped – and speaking of tapped, Gary Vaynerchuk often reminds listeners that the most downloaded iPhone app in the early days of the App Store was iBeer…and look at our apps now!

Here’s a quick version of this blog in video format:

Want to streamline your safety inspections? Check out the Safety Reports app, it’s what I use!

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