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New technology gives voice to OpenDoc

Voice Pilot Technologies has a new interface to incorporate speech recognition into OpenDoc applications.

Betting that voice recognition technology is finally on the verge of taking off, Voice Pilot Technologies has lifted the curtain on a new interface this week at Object World in Boston for OS/2 developers to incorporate speech recognition technology into OpenDoc-based applications.

The Miami-based company developed the voice recognition technology that IBM is integrating into its new version of OS/2 Warp, code-named Merlin. Once Merlin is released, Voice Pilot thinks that speech recognition and OpenDoc will become more widely used. To allow developers to combine both technologies, the company has created the "SpokenDoc" extension.

The SpokenDoc extension is a hook that will allow developers to use any SRAPI-compliant speech engine in an OpenDoc application. "Our goal is to market this technology to developers to help them understand how speech works [in an OpenDoc environment]," said David Slachter, president and CEO of Voice Pilot. "The technology is available, but the market's not ready for it yet. When IBM releases Merlin, you'll see in the next 12 to 18 months the speech market is going to take off," Slachter said.

The OpenDoc platform, developed jointly by IBM and Apple, allows developers to build cross-platform applications for Mac OS, OS/2, and Windows built with collections of software components. SpokenDoc for OS/2 only is currently in beta testing.