Is speech the technology that will take computing power beyond the desktop? Can information be retrieved, processed, manipulated and passed along, without stopping at a desktop? There are a number of companies looking very closely at speech recognition as a means to give people access to valuable information whenever they like. The benefits are enormous and the need is obvious to anyone who has ever struggled with a keyboard in cramped quarters, had a brilliant thought pass through their mind without being recorded, or needed to have specific information NOW. Two stories in this issue detail some of the latest in hand held devices that make use of speech recognition. "Time Is on My Side ... And Speech Is on the Move," by Speech Technology's managing editor Susan Spadaccini and "Speech in Hand" by our columnist Peter Fleming detail the latest advances in speech recognition devices that can be held in the hand. This issue also offers readers a preview to SpeechTEK 99, with a glimpse at what exhibitors will be presenting at the speech industry's most comprehensive exhibition and conference. Speech Technology readers will have a unique opportunity to be a part of the SpeechTEK event this year, as our readers will be picking the prestigious Peak Performance awards that will be presented at the show. The awards program was instituted last year at the SpeechTEK show when a panel of judges selected from the products exhibited at the show. This year we realized that the people best capable of assessing the state of the art in the speech industry are our readers. For that reason, we are asking you to take the time to examine the ballot in this magazine and cast your vote for products you thought were the "peak performers" in any of the categories listed. If you feel strongly about two or three products, write each one in on the ballot and fax it to us, or use the e mail form on our website. We'll be announcing the winners at the fifth annual SpeechTEK 99 show, Oct 26-27 at the New York Hilton. Hope to see you there.
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