Written by: Adam Christianson
Just on the heels of Macworld 2010 the folks at Nuance Communications, Inc. and MacSpeech have announced that Nuance will acquire MacSpeech. Two years ago at Macworld Expo MacSpeech announced that they had licensed the underlying dictation technology from Nuance Communications and would be integrating it into their products. Since then they have continued to improve and extend their range of dictation products for the Mac. This year at Macworld Expo they announced MacSpeech Scribe. MacSpeech Scribe now allows you to pre-record your dictation into a digital recorder and later pass it through the MacSpeech software to perform your text to speech conversion; a feature long requested by users of MacSpeech Dictate. Many of the new products and innovations in the MacSpeech line came from their partnership with Nuance Communications, so this acquisition seems like a logical next step.
“MacSpeech responded to the growing demand for a native Macintosh, high-quality speech recognition solution with MacSpeech Dictate integrated with the Dragon speech recognition engine,” said Andrew Taylor, president of MacSpeech. “We are excited to become part of the Nuance team and accelerate our ability to deliver great speech solutions to the Mac community.”
The good news is that it sounds like Nuance plans to use the acquisition to increase the research and development of products in their line that are specifically designed and developed for the Mac, iPhone, iPod ( and hopefully iPad) lines. The people at MacSpeech have long been big supporters of the Mac community and I wish them the best of luck moving forward.
You can find more information on the acquisition on the Nuance Communications site, http://www.nuance.com/macspeech
Congratulations on deciding to do the podcast full-time! I fully endorse this and think you’ll do a fantastic job :-)
Isn’t it interesting that the makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking have bought out MacSpeech?? I know that they are the big players in the voice recognition market; this is potentially very exciting for voice recognition on the Mac? What do you think about it?
Now voice recognition has matured beyond belief compared to what it used to be like when I started using it in 1993. I would really love to see speaker independent voice recognition, I’m pretty sure that’s already been done using supercomputers, so it should be theoretically possible for somebody to walk in a room and just start talking.
Admittedly, I guess that might take an awful lot of computing power but with multicore and quad core computers coming on stream who knows what will be possible.
Although for something like a Star Trek scenario you would need the dictation system or computer behind it to also define what the person is actually doing and what they want :-).
As a person with a disability I’ve always been interested in speech recognition because it’s been an enabler for me as far as writing is concerned — but I can see, as the technology is getting better and better it’s appealing to a wider cross-section of computer users.
I’d be very interested in your views on this Adam?
Keep up the great work
I agree with Malcolm.
In my case, I keep wishing for a way to make my iPhone change the page when I am reading. I ordered the flexible stand for it, and that’s wonderful for reading in bed. (Heard about the stand on your show, Adam, and ended up getting two of them — really convenient!)
But what I miss now is a simple way for me to advance the pages when reading an e-book. I expect that to be a similar issue when the iPad comes out, which I definitely will buy.
So either voice recognition (“Next” or even a “tsk” sound or finger snap) or a little remote toggle so you don’t constantly have to reach out to flick the screen. I know that sounds super-spoiled, but I have only limited use of my left hand, myself, and so that would be absolutely brilliant.
Folks like Malcolm and me are going to grow in number as Baby Boomers get older. We appreciate the developers who work on products and applications that can help make our lives a bit easier.