MacSpeech demoed its exclusive TalkAnywhere technology in both Spanish and German at last week’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
iListen, MacSpeech’s speech recognition software, has “TalkAnywhere” technology, which lets you dictate into virtually any Mac application. It translates speech to typed text and characters anywhere you would normally type. iListen is speaker dependent, meaning you have to spend some time “training” iListen to the unique cadence and timbre of your voice. However, it can handle multiple users, each with their own speech files.
“Support for non-English languages is very important to us,” said MacSpeech Chief Evangelist Chuck Rogers. “Nearly fifty percent of Apple’s sales come from non-English speaking countries. The vast majority of Macintosh users have been required to speak English in order to use dictation software. We are out to change that.”
MacSpeech will introduce iListen in all of the languages currently supported by the FreeSpeech 2000 engine, including English (including both US and UK dialects), German (including Austrian and Swiss dialects), French, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish (including European, North, Central and South American dialects), Italian, Portuguese (including European and Brazilian dialects), and Swedish. MacSpeech will introduce other language models as they are made available to them by Philips.
The US version of iListen 1.0.1 is currently available and is being sold for the introductory price of US$99 for the downloadable version or $109.95 for the CD version without a headset, and includes a free upgrade to the next version.
MacSpeech has also announced the development of 21 new ScriptPaks for its popular iListen and free ListenDo! programs. ScriptPaks are designed to enhance the user’s ability to command and control the application for which it was written. The new ScriptPaks enhance voice control of the following applications: America Online 5.0, AppleWorks 6, FileMaker Pro 5.0, Final Draft 5.0, iCab, iLiner 1.1, Internet Explorer 5.0, Microsoft Entourage 2001, Microsoft Excel 2001, Microsoft PowerPoint 2001, Microsoft Word 2001, MYOB Plus, Netscape 6, Nisus Email, Nisus Writer, Palm Desktop, QuarkXPress, Quicken Deluxe 2000, Quicken Deluxe 2001, Spaceward Ho!, and Street Atlas USA 6.0
“This was an ambitious project to embark on so soon after the release of iListen,” said Rogers. “Not only are we adding 21 new ScriptPaks, but most of the new ones are much larger, giving the user many more options for controlling the target application with their voice.”
The ScriptPaks will be available as soon as external testing is complete, which should take about a month, said Rogers. The ScriptPaks will work with either MacSpeech’s free PlainTalk-enhancement, ListenDo!, or their recently released iListen.