Banking On Tomorrow

Speak Up!

Finally, a computer that actually listens when you talk to it: IBM's newest version of its OS/2 Warp operating system, code-named Merlin, allows users to give vocal commands to their personal computers. Merlin's new speech recognition capabilities mean PC users can vocally navigate through menu bars and objects on the desktop to, say, open files, launch applications-even access Internet sites. Plus, the dictation component enables you to dictate memos and other documents, then paste them into word processing or e-mail applications to either print out or send on their way.

IBM says Merlin's speech recognition capabilities are about 95 percent accurate, with a base vocabulary of about 22,000 words. The system also supports six languages: U.S. and U.K.
English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

Other new features include a cleaned-up interface with 3-D icons, a WarpCenter tool bar that accesses a task list indicating which programs are running, and a Warp button that quickly creates a view of everything on the desktop.

The newest version of IBM's OS/2 Warp is expected to be available by year-end.

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This article was originally published in the August 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Banking On Tomorrow.

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