Nuance Unleashes a New Dragon

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Nuance Communications has released Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12, which has more than 100 new features and enhancements, including an improved accuracy rate and faster performance.

"We listened to the feedback from customers telling us what features they'd like to see or even removed from Dragon," says Erica Hill, product marketing manager for the Dragon line at Nuance. "One of the most important features is accuracy."

Toward that end, Dragon 12 is now 20 percent more accurate than the previous version.

"It's a noticeable difference, even for experienced users," Hill says. "Accuracy is first and foremost with us."

Dragon is known for adapting to a person's preferred style of writing as well as the audio characteristics of his or her voice, including pitch, speaking style, accent, even speech impediments. With Dragon 12, this is further personalized with Smart Format Rules, a new technology that adapts to the way users prefer to format their words. Dragon automatically detects word, phrase, and format corrections, including abbreviations, numbers, and more, so dictated letters, email, and documents reflect a person's own writing style. Dragon also now offers the ability to correct words and phrases even faster with more words and more likely alternate word choices in the correction list. In addition, Dragon 12 reminds users to adapt their profile vocabulary based on any documents or email of their choosing so words and phrases each person uses most are recognized every time.

Dragon 12 also features enhanced capabilities with two of the most popular Web-based email applications, Gmail and Hotmail, offering fast response time, full text control, and commands for the most frequent actions in Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla Firefox 12 or higher, and Google Chrome 16 or higher.

The new version features support for the Dragon Remote Mic App for iOS and Android devices. Users can turn their mobile phones into microphones for use with Dragon over Wi-Fi networks using the free Dragon Remote Mic app. Dragon 12 also features enhanced support for wideband 16 kHz Bluetooth wireless headset microphones, providing increased accuracy through a higher-quality audio signal. When Dragon detects that a certified microphone is paired with the PC, Dragon 12 offers "Enhanced Bluetooth" as an audio source type. The improved audio quality eliminates the requirement for Bluetooth users to do initial voice training, allowing them to get started faster (Bluetooth and Enhanced Bluetooth support is available in Premium edition and higher).

"We've made it easier for people to connect their iPhones or Androids," Hill says. "When you connect your phone as a wireless mic, a QR code will come up in Dragon on your computer. You simply point your phone at the QR code and scan it, and then Dragon takes care of the rest in terms of connecting your PC with your wireless device."

Nuance has also added a more natural text-to-speech voice to Dragon 12, Hill says, which is heard in the read-back feature when users are proofing documents or multitasking.

The new version also takes advantage of the latest multicore processors in PCs, Hill points out. "In Dragon 12, Dragon much more intelligently is able to take advantage of powerful PCs that have multicore processors and that have more memory," she says. "Being able to do that, Dragon has boosted its performance."

Nuance is excited about the new release, Hill says.

"I think we've made great strides in terms of core accuracy, as well as the overall experience for our customers," Hill says. "We've made Dragon faster and much easier to use and have added elements to help people get up to speed with Dragon a lot faster and easier. I think that users will be pleased with what they see. The words that you intended are the words you're going to see on the screen. Overall, I think that Dragon allows you to forget about technology and just talk in a very natural way."
Adding to the popularity of Dragon, Nuance has, in the past few months, introduced Dragon Search and Dictate in Vietnam, Slovakia, Malaysia, Greece, and Turkey, bringing to 36 the number of countries where the apps are available through Apple App Stores.

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