A look into the history of Dragon Systems.
Long time computer users will remember Dragon Systems and their speech recognition software.
The company was taken over by Lernout & Hauspie – a company that continues to be mentioned in the ‘About’ window of Office 2010.
The sad and strange story of the take over is told in a New York Times article. It looks like another example of the modern Greek proverb ‘place not thy trust in Goldman Sachs’.
Among other things the article gives a little explanation of the technology behind Dragon products. It confirms our suspicion that Dragon’s technology was ahead of the ability of hardware to run the software. That explains why you had to speak slowly for the software to work.
Speech recognition is now part of Windows 7 – find it in the Control Panel. Modern computers are able to cope with the demands of speech software though some training (of you and the computer) is necessary.
Many readers including Dean, Robert, Clover and Peter remind us that the Dragon technology lives on and is sold by Nuance.com. Dragon Naturally Speaking ‘lives on’. Dean speaks for many in saying “The product did need hardware to catch up, and you do need a good microphone, but it now works quite well and is quite accurate.”