MacSpeech Announces iListen Enhancements and Timetable

| Macworld/iWorld Expo

On Thursday, MacSpeech hosted a press briefing to update us on the progress of their flagship product , iListen. The event was hosted by Chuck Rogers, Chief Evangelist. He first pointed out their ListenDo! product, an enhancement for the Mac PlainTalk speech recognition engine, is still a free download. But then he started going into detail about the future of the iListen product.

Chuck first pointed out that the current shipping version, 1.0.1, does not have a correction feature. It is a bug fix away, and a free upgrade should be released in 1 to 2 months. He then talked about script packs, which enhance the command and control abilities of iListen. At the show, they announced 21 script packs, to complement the 20 packs that are already available. The packs range in price from $10 to $40.

Jason Wallace, their International Evangelist, then commented on one of the most common requests, which is when foreign language packs will be available. The Phillips speech recognition engine, which iListen is based on, currently supports 17 languages. MacSpeech predicts that they will start shipping language packs this summer.

Version 1.1 of iListen is promised to have a correction feature, and a "Learn My Writing Style" feature, which can import a document to help the speech recognition engine learn how you write. And an upcoming Version 1.2 will also offer the ability to navigate Mac menus. Professional language packs, for specialized vocabularies such as medical, legal and insurance, will be available. As far as OS X support, they plan to initially support dictation, and command-and-control features in the future.

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