Dragon Systems in Deal with AOL for Speech Recognition

Dragon Systems Inc., a provider of speech recognition technology, said it has signed an agreement to work with America Online to develop and deploy speech technology for expanded Internet use.

Dragon also entered into an expanded marketing agreement with America Online to sell its speech recognition products. Nearly 300,000 units of Dragon Point & Speak already have been sold through AOL since July 1998.

The effort is designed to enhance the experience of AOL members, to accelerate the adoption of speech technology for the Internet, and to broaden the number of online users by making online access easier.

The two companies first entered into a multi-million marketing arrangement last spring. Dragon Systems’ products, including Dragon Point & Speak, an entry-level continuous dictation product, are fully compatible with AOL, including email, Internet chat rooms, and AOL Instant Messenger. The positive customer response to the offerings led to the expanded relationship, the companies said.

“Dragon Systems’ products have enhanced our members’ online experience,” said Jan Brandt, AOL’s president of marketing. “We look forward to exploring other initiatives with Dragon to further enhance and deploy Dragon’s speech technology on AOL.”

“AOL’s keen understanding of the Internet and of the online community will help us to develop products and services that are truly responsive to the needs of AOL members,” said Janet Baker, chairman and chief executive officer of Dragon Systems. “Our expanded relationship will help us both to grow in the fast-paced online marketplace.”

Dragon Systems develops and markets speech and language technology that, in multiple languages (including American English, British English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish), enable users to create text, issue commands, and enter and access data simply by speaking.

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