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Nuance's speech-recognition software gets smarter & more hardware-friendly

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Speech-recognition software just keeps getting smarter.

Today, Nuance announced the latest incarnation of its popular software, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13, which promises to be faster and more accurate than previous versions.

Dragon’s accuracy largely comes from its ability to learn your writing style and word usage preferences. It then offers smart suggestions and can better predict what you mean. The software can be used with a variety of applications as well, from native apps for composing documents like Microsoft Word to web-based email to web browsing and even updating social media sites.

One of the new features in Dragon 13 is expanded support for a variety of microphones. Now, you can use the built-in microphone that comes in most laptops. This means you don’t need a headset anymore, which offers greater convenience and flexibility.

Greater voice command support is also included, which lets you manipulate text in a wider variety of ways. You can dictate, select text, move the cursor, and more all within a body of text. It’s also now compatible with Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and Outlook.com and supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.

“Dragon continues to serve as a complete voice solution for the PC, capable of impressive performance across programs, browsers, and applications,” said Peter Mahoney, chief marketing officer and general manager for Dragon at Nuance, in a statement on the news.

“Both new and longtime users of Dragon will find their interactions with the PC completely transformed, as they use their voice to get more things done in a faster and more natural way.”

While this is good news for current Dragon users, it should be enticing to those who’ve been reluctant to pick up the software until now. Its previous reputation as being a bit bloated is quickly dissolving. Plus, more people are interested in alternative desk setups these days. From speech recognition to standing and walking desks, the transition to an nontraditional work environment is something many professionals are considering.

The Premium English version is currently available for $199.99. The home English version will be available in August for $99.99. Other language versions will be available later in the year.

Dragon 12 was also billed as being faster and more accurate than previous versions when it was released in July 2012.


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