Extending voice recognition in 2000

March/April 2000 Access Control & Identity Management

Local distributor of the Dragon range of speech recognition software, Multimedia Warehouse, a division of Siltek Distribution Dynamics (SDD) and member of the Siltek IT Supply Chain, has released the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Developer Suite.

Jaco Laubscher, Product Manager at Multimedia Warehouse, says the product is a toolkit aimed at the creation of applications that benefit from the features of NaturallySpeaking voice recognition technology.

The Suite includes the latest versions of the Dragon NaturalVoc Tool as well as the Dragon NaturallySpeaking SDK (software development kit). "This provides feature extensions that are accessible through both ActiveX controls and SAPI methods – offering access to existing continuous speech technology developed by Dragon," says Laubscher.

'Developers using Visual Basic, Delphi and C++ are able to add value to their applications by integrating NaturallySpeaking capabilities such as constrained grammars, text-to-speech, Macro Scripting language and more,' he adds. "Various dialogues can also be accessed through the SDK."The Dragon NaturalVoc Tool is an enhanced version of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Vocabulary Builder. According to Laubscher the NaturalVoc Tool is able to analyse more source text when building vocabularies than its predecessor, resulting in better language models and improved recognition performance.

NaturalVoc will add new terms to the vocabulary with a guessed pronunciation. "Optionally, developers can supply a spoken form," explains Laubscher. "For specialised applications in specific fields, such as medicine, law or government, developers can build vocabularies with unique terms, for example product and client names, abbreviations and acronyms."

Dragon NaturallySpeaking runtime and enhanced runtime are bundled with the Suite. Laubscher says the runtimes located on the provided CD will be for development purposes only and cannot be used for deployment. "In order to roll out the speech enabled application, a licence agreement needs to be set up and a runtime CD obtained," he says.

Runtime and enhanced runtime can operate transparently behind an application, benefiting users who are unfamiliar with speech recognition.

"As a result, a broad spectrum of end users will be able to work with applications integrated with a runtime," concludes Laubscher.

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