Emerging Technology Report - Voice Technology
Explanation and Profile of the Technology and Major Players/Users (Links)
Voice recognition product reviews help to provide a profile of the technology and give a view into the major players in the industry. The software for the industry breaks down into the following components:
Products for Windows
"DragonDictate and Naturally Speaking" from Dragon Systems was the winner of the "Reviewer's Choice Award" for best speech recognition tool in March of 2000. For high quality sound, check out their new USB compatible product.
Freespeech by Philips was developed with Oxford University Press. Their FreeSpeech 98 package features a 27,000-word vocabulary with common terms, phrases and names; and the capability to customize its vocabulary up to 64,000 words.
Kolvox offers LawTALK and OfficeTALK, as the easiest, most intuitive way to get work done. They have designed special features to help the beginner get started. They focus on simplifying commands. Creating a memo is as natural as saying "create memo". Need to print it? Say "print document".
Learout and Hauspie won the "Web Software of the Year" Award at the Computing Awards for Excellence 2000. They focus on developing speech solutions for the busy professional and letting you "say it your way". Their Voice Xpress. is a powerful desktop product that allows you to manipulate Microsoft Office Applications (Excel, Word, etc.).
Metroplex Voice Computing, Inc (MVC) focuses on helping kids with math comprehension and learning. They have developed programs that utilize Dragon Systems speech recognition engines to manipulate mathematical equations.
Voice Pilot, Inc. developed Voice Pilot for Windows. Voice Pilot attempts to compress voice files into manageable sizes to send via E-mail. They can even toss in a picture so the recipient of the E-mail can see your picture (no bow ties, please) while they listen to your message. And look mom, no hands! You never have to touch the keyboard.
Yes, Big Blue is in the game too. IBM Ďs "Via Voice" for Windows is available in several packages including Pro, Advanced, Standard and Personal Editions. Each provides specific speech solutions to fit your needs
Products for Macintosh
Big Blue is in the Mac space as well with their Via Voice offering. This offering allows you to do things your own way. You speak to your Mac and your thoughts come alive.
Voice Power Pro is a new voice recognition application that uses discrete speech. Its software package has a dictionary of 140,000 words.
Apple's Speech Recognition gives the user power over operating system. This Star Trek technology makes the computer your servant. It will listen, talk and understand you. If it could only fetch the paper on rainy days. Oh yeah, it can do that too, on-line.
Dragon Systems Inc. is planing to enter the Mac space with continuous speech products for the Macintosh. Coming soon.
Macintosh also has some skin in the game with MacSpeech. They recently released iListen PRS in July of 2000. It allows the user to dictate to any Mac and has improved the stability, accuracy and the ability to use your voice for application execution.
- Digital Voice Recording Products
- "Dragon NaturallyMobile" allows you to dictate text which can be translated at a later date by a voice recognition system. The Dragon NaturallyMobile Recorder Option Kit gives you increased flexibility with a more mobile solution. You can create reports, correspondence, e-mail, and more - virtually anywhere and anytime in the world. All you have to do is speak into the handheld Dragon NaturallyMobile digital recorder and download it later when you reach your office or home.
- You can dictate correspondence and then easily convert your recordings into word processing text use IMBís The Olympus D1000 digital recorder. Combined with Intelís Flash Memory Miniature Card and IBM ViaVoice™ speech-to-text software; you can record, edit, format and print with ease or just transfer your audio files to a PC.
- Voice It Products has been delivering innovative products for years. They are an industry development leader in voice and headset technology. Their products are designed to work with Dragon systems Naturally Speaking.
For full product reviews of desktop speech recognition products, you can visit http://www.voicewizard.com/product_reviews.html. They consider accuracy of recognition of the software as a factor in their review, but take a much more stringent view of usability and expandability. Their current reviews include: Dragon Systems Naturally Speaking 4.0, IBM ViaVoice Millennium Pro., Lernout & Hauspie VoiceXpress 4.0, and Philips FreeSpeech 2000.
A comparison of dictation and editing commands can be found at http://www.out-loud.com/features.html. They focus their comparison on four leading price-competitive software packages available to retail customers. NaturallySpeaking Preferred V4, Voice Xpress Professional V5 and FreeSpeech 2000 are all in the $150 to $200 range while NaturallySpeaking Professional comes in at $695.
There are a couple of other players to watch. The first is Sunny Beach Technology, Inc. This company is a maker of personal receptionist, interactive voice telephony software for voice modems or telephony cards. The software uses touch tone and speech recognition and text-to-speech generation to interact with callers. The other is ASTRON Advanced Technology Solutions (PL). This company is a vendor of biometrics security products, finger-chip scanners, hand geometry, iris, face and voice recognition.
VXML or VoiceXML is based on the World Wide Web Consortium's industry-standard Extensible Markup Language (XML). VXML is going to be the standard for voice applications development on the Internet. It is being created by combining several mark up languages that already exist which are based on the XML standard. The VXML specification provides a high-level programming interface to speech and telephony resources for application developers, service providers and equipment manufacturers. It helps to simplify the creation and delivery of Web-based, personalized interactive voice-response services. It further integrates phone and voice access to integrated call center databases, information and services on Web sites, and company Intranets. Another language is JSML (Java Speech Markup Language) by SUN Microsystems which allows the applications to annotate text with additional information that can improve the quality of synthesized speech. It can be used by a wide range of applications to speak text from equally varied sources, including email, database information, web pages, and word processor documents.
Return to Home Page