Speech recognition branches out

Dragon Systems announces a kit intended to help software developers bring speech recognition to applications besides word processing.

Dragon Systems announced a kit intended to help software developers bring speech recognition to third-party applications, as the promising technology continues branching out beyond word processing.

The Dragon NaturallySpeaking Developer Suite kit will bring speech recognition--once tied to programs like Microsoft Word--to applications like email clients, Internet chat, natural-language search programs, and groupware applications for corporations, the company said.

Although speech recognition software still has a ways to go before mass adoption, the technology is growing in popularity as it becomes more affordable. Additionally, newer, more powerful computers can better handle the system-taxing requirements of voice recognition applications. Developer kits like Dragon's may also raise awareness.

NaturallySpeaking Developer Suite uses Microsoft ActiveX components that allow developers to integrate speech recognition features into any application supporting ActiveX standards, Dragon said. The technology is already integrated into Corel's WordPerfect word processing software, which will ship with the developer suite in North America.

Dragon's NaturallySpeaking Developer Suite will be available later this summer for an estimated street price of $695.