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Speech Recognition Gets Real

Techstination feature for Monday, July 12, 1999

Are you ready to start talking to your computer? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Speech recognition technology is getting better all the time with companies like Lernout and Hauspie, Dragon Systems, IBM and Philips battling it out in the field. The winner, is the consumer. The software is getting more accurate and easier to use as well as cheaper. At Lernout and Hauspie, Paul McNulty says talking to your PC may have been gimmicky before...but not anymore...

"I think the next wave will be in really making these products usable by everybody. I guess we would be successful if a couple years from now it wasn't considered gee whiz, that people really said speech is truly an alternate user input device an alternate way to work with your PC."

Turning speech into text is a difficult task for a computer. There are so many variables. One way to improve the results is by using a good quality microphone. Plantronics is taking its decades of experience in making headsets in creating a line made for PCs. Plantronics' Matt Miller...

"In '98 there were one million copies of speech software sold. That was huge growth. However, forecasts for the year 2000 is four and a half million copies."

The Plantronics headsets start at under thirty dollars. A stereo model with mega-bass, great for games besides dictating, is under eighty dollars.