Law Journal Extra!

Law Technology Product News (Volume 5, Issue 5, p. 6, col. 1)
Mid-April 1998

Tools for Office Management: Voice Recognition

Simply Speaking Gold and ViaVoice, from IBM of Armonk, N.Y.: Big Blue takes another step toward the ultimate goal in speech technology -- the ability for users to converse with their computers -- with the introduction of two new software products. Simply Speaking Gold is a feature-enhanced version of IBM's VoiceType dictation software, and ViaVoice is the company's first general-purpose, continuous-speech dictation product, says the company.

Simply Speaking Gold combines continuous navigation and discrete dictation, permitting users to have typed documents read back to them by their computer, according to IBM. The package also includes the VoiceType Connection for Netscape Navigator 3.0, which IBM says is the world's first high-accuracy speech-enabled Web browser. ViaVoice, IBM reports, is the company's first continuous dictation product for lawyers, other professionals and the consumer market. With the software, the company says, users can speak to their computer in a normal spoken voice as if they were talking to another person.

ViaVoice Gold, an upgrade of ViaVoice, is an enhanced version of the company's general purpose continuous voice recognition software, says IBM. ViaVoice Gold lets legal professionals and other users perform a variety of tasks simply by speaking, including voice-typing letters, reports and e-mail messages, opening and closing computer files and navigating the desktop, according to IBM. ViaVoice Gold users can issue commands to their computers such as "File Print," "File Save," and "Scroll Up/Down" rather than use the keyboard or mouse to execute these tasks, it explains. A text-to-speech feature in ViaVoice Gold allows the computer to read text back to the user, IBM reports, noting that lawyers and other users can expect to enter text onto their computers using the software at speeds greater than the average person can type.

For more information ENTER no. 200 after Clicking Here (Simply Speaking Gold) or ENTER no. 201 after Clicking Here (ViaVoice Gold).

Corel's WordPerfect Suite 8 -- Legal Edition for Windows 95 and Windows NT, from Corel Corp. of Ottawa: The latest edition of this software suite designed for the legal profession incorporates Dragon Systems' Dragon Dictate NaturallySpeaking. The new edition of WordPerfect Suite 8 -- Legal contains tools for contact management, time and billing, document assembly and comparison and a legal dictionary, says Corel.

For more information ENTER no. 214 after Clicking Here.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Deluxe Edition, from Dragon Systems Inc. of Newton, Mass.: Aimed at business and corporate markets, according to Dragon, this continuous speech recognition software product adds multiple user support, multiple topic support, increased active vocabulary, recorded speech and more.

DragonDictate 3.0 Classic and Power Editions, from Dragon Systems Inc. of Newton, Mass.:These editions offer Microsoft Office 97 support, built-in text-to-speech capabilities, compatibility with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking continuous speech dictation system and numerous user interface improvements, with 30,000 words and 60,000 words, respectively according to the company.

For more information ENTER no. 216 after Clicking Here (Dragon NaturallySpeaking Deluxe Edition) or ENTER no. 215 after Clicking Here (DragonDictate 3.0 Classic and Power Editions).

Word Pro 97, from Lotus Development Corp. of Cambridge, Mass.: Lotus says the update to its SmartSuite 97 suite of productivity applications is the first word processor with built-in speech recognition. According to the company, Word Pro 97 allows lawyers and other users to dictate text to their computers at rates of up to 140 words per minute -- nearly three times faster than the average person can type -- and to operate the software with simple verbal commands. Developed in conjunction with IBM, the software incorporates a custom version of IBM's ViaVoice that works specifically with Word Pro 97, Lotus says.

For more information ENTER no. 217 after Clicking Here.

VoicE-Mail, from Wizzard Software Corp. of Pittsburgh: With VoicE-Mail, the company says, legal professionals and other users can create their e-mail in a hands-free mode simply by speaking. The Windows 95/NT package also offers many other powerful features such as junk e-mail filtering and a search function, adds Wizzard, and comes complete with a high-quality microphone headset. Lawyers who use VoicE-Mail have 97 percent functionality with the program simply by speaking.

For more information ENTER no. 218 after Clicking Here.

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