"This release makes speech recognition a benefit for everybody," said Robert Weideman, senior vice president of marketing and product strategy for Nuance.
Version 9 is targeted at first-time users, he said. The company is claiming accuracy of up to 99 percent in the new release.
Nuance said high accuracy levels are achieved from the start of usage, although users will find that accuracy will still continue to improve with usage. "We've combined the elimination of voice training and the ability of the product to improve," said Weideman.
He said that 10 years ago the training period for speech recognition required an hour of a user's time. In Version 8, users need just four minutes of training, but Weideman said that even "was an annoying requirement for many."
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 operates with "nearly any computing task," said Weideman. In addition to augmenting Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, the speech recognition solution enables users to give commands like "start Word" and the word processing program starts up.
Version 9 also comes with specific links and integration with Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer in addition to Corel WordPerfect, and Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.
The new version improves mobility for users, who have access to new support via Nuance-approved Bluetooth headsets, enabling users to dictate wirelessly. New enterprise features provide users with the ability to access the technology from anywhere on an enterprise network. New tools allow administrators to manage Dragon NaturallySpeaking deployments over a network to multiple clients.
The new version is Section 508-certified to allow disabled persons and others with repetitive stress injuries to have hands-free use of their PCs.
Prices for product series range from $99 for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Standard to $899 for the Professional version. Specialized medical and legal versions retail for $1199 each.