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Dragon NaturallySpeaking

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Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech recognition software package developed and sold by Nuance Communications for Microsoft Windows|Windows personal computers. The most recent package is version 10.1, which supports 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.[1][2]



NaturallySpeaking utilizes a minimal user interface. As an example, dictated words appear in a floating tooltip as they are spoken, and when the speaker pauses, the programme transcribes the words into the active window at the location of the cursor. The software has three primary areas of functionality: dictation, text-to-speech and command input. Not only is the user able to dictate and have their speech transcribed as written text, or have a document synthesized as an audio stream, but they are also able to issue commands that are recognized as such by the program. In addition, voice profiles can be accessed through different computers in a networked environment, although the audio hardware and configuration must be identical on both machines.


Dr. James and Janet Baker founded Dragon Systems in 1982 to release products centred around their voice recognition prototype.[3] DragonDictate was first released for DOS, and utilized hidden Markov models, which is a method of using statistics for the recognition of speech. At the time, the hardware was insufficiently powerful to address the problem of word segmentation, and DragonDictate was unable to determine the boundaries of words during continuous speech input. Users were forced to pronounce one word at a time, each clearly separated by a small pause. DragonDictate was based on a trigram model, and is known as a discrete speech recognition engine.[4]

Dragon Systems released NaturallySpeaking 1.0 as their first continuous dictation product in 1997.[5] The company was then purchased in June 2000 by Lernout & Hauspie, a corporation that had been involved in financial scandals as reported by the New York Times.[6] Following the bankruptcy of Lernout & Hauspie, the rights to the Dragon product line were acquired by ScanSoft. In 2005, ScanSoft launched a de facto acquisition of Nuance Communications, and rebranded itself as Nuance.[7]


Version Release date Editions
1.0 June 1997 Personal
2.0 November 1997 Standard, Preferred, Deluxe
3.0 October 1998 Point & Speak, Standard, Preferred, Professional (with optional Legal and Medical add-on products)
4.0 August 4, 1999 Essentials,Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical, Mobile
5.0 August 2000 Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical
6.0 November 15, 2001 Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical
7.0 March 2003 Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical
8.0 November 2004 Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical
9.0 July 2006 Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical, SDK client, SDK server
9.5 January 2007 Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical, SDK client, SDK server
10.0 August 7, 2008 Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical
10.1 March 2009 Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical


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    • {{{last}}}, {{{first}}} and {{{coauthors}}}. and Nuance to Merge. 2005-05-09. {{{work}}}. {{{publisher}}}. Accessed on 2010-02-03

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