A sample dictation in Microsoft Word 2010.
|Stable release||12.51 / January 2014|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
Dragon NaturallySpeaking (also known as Dragon for PC, or DNS), is a speech recognition software package developed by Dragon Systems of Newton, Massachusetts, and later acquired by Nuance Communications. It runs on Windows personal computers. The most recent package is version 12.5, which supports 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. The Mac OS version is called DragonDictate or Dragon for Mac.
NaturallySpeaking uses a minimal user interface. As an example, dictated words appear in a floating tooltip as they are spoken (though there is an option to suppress this display to increase speed), and when the speaker pauses, the program transcribes the words into the active window at the location of the cursor (Dragon does not support dictating to background windows). The software has three primary areas of functionality: dictation, text-to-speech and command input. The user is able to dictate and have speech transcribed as written text, have a document synthesized as an audio stream, or 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. The Professional version allows creation of custom commands to control programs or functions not built into NaturallySpeaking.
Dr. James Baker laid out the description of a speech understanding system called DRAGON in 1975. Then in 1982 he and Dr. Janet Baker, his wife, founded Dragon Systems to release products centered around their voice recognition prototype; he was President of the company and she was CEO. DragonDictate was first released for DOS, and utilized hidden Markov models, a probabilistic method for temporal pattern recognition. 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 utterance speech recognition engine.
Dragon Systems released NaturallySpeaking 1.0 as their first continuous dictation product in 1997. The company was then purchased in June 2000 by Lernout & Hauspie, a Belgium based corporation that had been involved in financial scandals as reported by the New York Times. Following the all-share deal advised by Goldman Sachs, Lernout & Hauspie declared bankruptcy in November 2000. The Bakers had received hundreds of millions in stock, but were only able to sell a few million dollars worth before the stock lost all its value as a result of the accounting fraud. The Bakers sued Goldman Sachs for negligence, intentional misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty, which eventually (January, 2013) led to a 23-day trial in Boston. The jury ruled in favor of Goldman Sachs and cleared them of all charges. Following the bankruptcy of Lernout & Hauspie, the rights to the Dragon product line were acquired by ScanSoft of Burlington, Massachusetts. In 2005, ScanSoft launched a de facto acquisition of Nuance Communications, and rebranded itself as Nuance.
|Version||Release date||Editions||Operating Systems Supported|
|1.0||June 1997||Personal||Windows 95, NT 4.0.|
|2.0||November 1997||Standard, Preferred, Deluxe||Windows 95, NT 4.0|
|3.0||October 1998||Point & Speak, Standard, Preferred, Professional (with optional Legal and Medical add-on products)||Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0.|
|4.0||August 4, 1999||Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical, Mobile||Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0 SP3+.|
|5.0||August 2000||Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical||Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0 SP6+, 2000.|
|6.0||November 15, 2001||Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical|
|7.0||March 2003||Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical||Windows 98SE, Me, NT4 SP6+, 2000, XP.|
|8.0||November 2004||Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical||Windows Me (Only Standard and Preferred editions), Windows 2000 SP4+, Windows XP SP1+.|
|9.0||July 2006||Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical, SDK client, SDK server,||Windows 2000 SP4+, XP SP1+.|
|9.5||January 2007||Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical, SDK client, SDK server||Windows 2000 SP4+, XP SP1+, Vista (32-bit).|
|10.0||August 7, 2008||Essentials, Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical||Windows 2000 SP4+, XP SP2+ (32-bit), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2003.|
|10.1||March 2009||Standard, Preferred, Professional, Legal, Medical||Windows 2000 SP4+, XP SP2+ (32-bit), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2003.|
|11.0||August 2010||Home, Premium, Professional, Legal||Windows XP SP2+ (32-bit), Vista SP1+ (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2003, 2008.|
|11.0||2011||SDK client (DSC), SDK server (DSS)||Windows XP SP2+ (32-bit only), Vista SP1+ (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows Server 2003 and 2008, SP1, SP2 and R2 (32-bit and 64-bit)|
|11.5||June 2011||Home, Premium, Professional, Legal||Windows XP SP2+ (32-bit), Vista SP1+ (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2003, 2008.|
|11.0||August 2011||Medical (Dragon Medical Practice Edition)||Windows XP SP2+ (32-bit), Vista SP1+ (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2003, 2008.|
|12.0||October 2012||Home, Premium, Professional, Legal||Windows XP SP3+ (32-bit), Vista SP2+ (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32 and 64-bit), 8 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012.|
|12.5||February 2013||Home, Premium, Professional, Legal||Windows XP SP3+ (32-bit), Vista SP2+ (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32 and 64-bit), 8 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012.|
|2||June 2013||Medical (Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2)||Windows XP SP3+ (32-bit), Vista SP2+ (32-bit and 64-bit), 7 (32 and 64-bit), 8 (32 and 64-bit). Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012.|
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is available in the following languages
- US English
- UK English
- Japanese (aka "Dragon Speech 11" in Japan)
- Sarnataro, Valerie (2012-11-08). "Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) 12 Review". technologyguide.com. Technology Guide. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
- "Nuance Dragon Products". Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- "Nuance product support for Microsoft Windows Vista". Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Nuance product support for Microsoft Windows 7". 2010. Retrieved 16 Aug 2010.
- "Dragon for Mac". 2010. Retrieved 1 Jan 2011.
- Baker, James K. (1975). "The DRAGON System - An Overview". IEEE Transactions on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing 23 (1): 24–29. doi:10.1109/TASSP.1975.1162650.
- "History of Speech Recognition and Transcription Software". Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "DragonDictate product information". Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- "Dragon NaturallySpeaking 1.0 released". Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- "Dragon Systems purchased by Lernout & Hauspie". New York Times. 2001-05-07. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- "Goldman Is Cleared Over a Sale Gone Awry". New York Times. 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
- "ScanSoft and Nuance to Merge". 2005-05-09. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- "Dragon brings voice control to smart TVs and set-top boxes - Computeractive - News". Computeractive. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
- Official website for Nuance Communications