IBM launches voice recognition system

IBM has unveiled a voice recognition package that it claims can recognise and keep pace with continuous patterns of speech.

The company's ViaVoice software, which will be available in September this year, will compete with a similar Philips package, which was launched at the Solex exhibition earlier this month.

According to IBM, the new system can allow users to speak naturally, at around 140 words-per-minute. In its current form, the system is not tailored to recognise legal jargon, but the company plans to launch an additional legal dictionary for the product during the winter.

Ozzie Osborne, general manager of IBM Speech Systems, said: "Speech recognition is changing the way in which we interface with computers, just as the mouse and graphical user interface did in the 1980s."

IBM's suggested retail price for ViaVoice will be £169 plus Vat and it will need a Pentium 166 MHz computer with 32 MB of Ram to run.