Olympus voice recorder turns speech to text

Coming with Dragon Naturally Speaking Recorder Edition software, the Olympus VN-5500 PC DNS will transcribe your own voice recordings at up to 160 words per minute, and with 99 per cent accuracy. Dictate into the microphone, download the audio files to a PC, and use the software to convert. Easy.

But, before eager journalists get too excited, it really only works after you train the software to recognise your, or somebody else's, voice. This means that to automatically transcribe speech, it needs to talk the speaker through a 15-minute training programme first. So, it's unlikely to be very successful for interviews conducted in sweaty venues.

However, it is ideal for recording blogs, memoirs or, even, entire novels - you could blurt out a chapter a day into the recorder, and the software will do the hard part. And with onboard storage of 512MB, the VN-5500 PC DNS can hold up to 221 hours of ramblings. It is also compatible with five languages; English, French, Italian, German and Dutch.

Costing £99.99, it's available from Argos and Currys now.

At the very least it'll fuel fits of giggles amongst the Pocket-linters when we say "do you use a dictaphone?"