Mac-based speech-recognition technology has taken another leap forward with IBM’s July announcement that it will offer a Mac version of its ViaVoice dictation software. IBM joins Dragon Systems and MacSpeech in announcing plans to deliver continuous-speech-recognition technology for the Mac (see the “Speech Recognition Returns to the Mac” sidebar in ”
The Millennium Mac,” August 1999). IBM says it will release the software later this year.
IBM representatives demonstrated an early version of the speech-recognition program at Macworld Expo New York. Although the software will be based on IBM’s current Windows offerings, an IBM spokesperson says the company has not yet decided on a price or on which specific features to include.
ViaVoice and Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking both use continuous-speech-recognition technology. Older speech-recognition products required discrete pauses between words. Continuous-speech-recognition technology lets you speak in a more natural manner. Reviews of PC versions of the two packages have generally given the nod to NaturallySpeaking, citing its high recognition accuracy. MacSpeech, a new company, does not have a PC voice-recognition product.