SAN FRANCISCO - IBM has announced the availability of a general purpose, continuous dictation product for the consumer market, which allows users to dictate directly into Microsoft's Word, or IBM's included SpeakPad word processors.
Now available in the US, IBM's $US99 ViaVoice will also be available for UK English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese sometime in September, company officials said. A version localised for the Australian market should be available around the same time.
IBM promises the product allows users to talk to their computers in a normal speaking voice, entering text at up to 140 words per minute.
Beginning in October, IBM's Lotus subsidiary will also offer a customised version of ViaVoice integrated with its Lotus Word Pro word processor, a part of the Lotus Smart Suite '97 desktop application suite.
ViaVoice has a "vocabulary expander" feature that can analyse all documents stored on a particular PC and automatically add frequently used or unique words.