Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Promises Greater Speed and Accuracy

Nuance Communications has revamped its speech recognition software with the release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13, which the company says benefits from better speed and accuracy, Web application compatibility, and a cleaner interface.

Dragon 13 is faster than its predecessor, and is 15 percent more accurate, thanks in part to new microphone and PC compatibilities, such as automatic detection of microphone availability, the company says.

"The most important thing for everyone has always been accuracy, and we've seen another major leap forward with accuracy in Dragon 13," says Peter Mahoney, chief marketing officer and general manager of Dragon products at Nuance.

"If you have a new laptop that's got microphones built into the display, you can get very good accuracy even without a headset," Mahoney says. "It enables a different kind of user product, especially with these newer laptops and tablets and convertibles. You can just touch the screen to turn on the microphone or use voice command and you start talking. That's a really compelling application."

Better Web application support is another Dragon 13 improvement. "This is an area that we've seen continued interest in from our customers," Mahoney says."Obviously, more people are spending more time in Web-based applications. One of the challenges that we had in the past was that a lot of these Web applications change all the time, and we are keeping up to date with specific compatibility."

Drilling down to a more technical level, Mahoney says Dragon was able to revamp its ability to interact with Web applications by leveraging the accessibility standard for Web applications, ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications).

"Most well-formed HTML can be speakable," Mahoney says. "We have good compatibility with well-formed standard HTML. Anyone who leverages the ARIA standard gets very good operability with voice commands with Dragon. Basically, it identifies and names the controls on a Web page so that an external application can communicate with [Dragon]."

Dragon 13 also provides full text control, allowing users to not only merge voice into text but also navigate around text and manipulate the text so it's supported in rich text fields. "Users have the ability to have full formatting and control of text versus just putting text into a text field," Mahoney says. "Historically, that's only been supported within thin client applications like a Microsoft Office application, but now you can do that in a Web-based environment."

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