FreeSpeech bundles SpeechMike

The latest version of Philips' speech recognition and processing software, FreeSpeech 2000, will come bundled with the company's SpeechMike microphone and trackball tool, it was announced yesterday.

FreeSpeech 2000 was released yesterday, Philips saying the new version lets users not only generate and format text but also control the Windows operating system and surf the Net using voice recognition.

Customers have the option of buying the program with a headset microphone ($249) or with Philips' SpeechMike ($349), a microphone, loudspeaker and trackball incorporated into one device that can be used single-handedly.

According to Philips, the SpeechMike means users don't need to touch their keyboard at all -- the device can switch between text input and Windows commands.

FreeSpeech 2000 also allows users to create their own voice/text macros and provides a proofreading solution with synchronous text highlighting and audio playback, says Philips.

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