In a move that drew applause from attendees of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, Dragon Systems announced that it would create a version of its popular speech recognition software for the Macintosh.
While the Macintosh operating system already includes basic speech recognition technology, its is not an area of major development for Apple. Dragon's whole business revolves around developing and improving speech recognition technologies.
The announcement is further evidence that developers are becoming interested again in the Mac because the company has been able to grow sales over the last several quarters. The most current versions of Dragon's software had only been available on Windows-based PCs.
No pricing was announced. Dragon said it expects to make the software available later this year.
Meanwhile, Newer Technology introduced a PC Card that enables PowerBook G3 series notebooks to connect via the high-speed Firewire connection scheme. This includes devices such as digital video cameras and external hard disk drives. While the new Power Macintosh desktops have FireWire connections built in, even the updated PowerBooks just introduced this week don't yet have the ports.
Newer said the FireWire 2 Go card includes a PC Card with an adapter and adapter cable for hooking up DV cameras and camcorders. Software automatically adjusts to the fastest speed the connected devices support, which typically range from 100 to 400 megabits per second. The card requires the use of Mac OS 8.6, and will be available in June at an estimated street price of $249.
In related news, VST Technologies said it would offer a new line of full-height, high performance drives that connect via FireWire connection ports to a computer. The drives will be available in capacities ranging from 10 to 36GB. The company already offers ultralight FireWire hard disk drives, with sizes now ranging from 2 to 14 GB.
Canon introduced what it said is the first multifunction inkjet printer for Universal Serial Bus-equipped Macs, including the recently updated PowerBook G3. The device allows users to print and scan in color and send and receive plain paper faxes, and will include software for photo editing, and document management. Canon said the MultiPass C635 will be priced at $379 when it becomes available in July.