New products on display at IDEAS Conference

Desktop computing without the touch of human hands was among the highlights today during a GCN Lab session at the IDEAS Conference at the Washington Convention Center.

The lab crew conducted a live session on six software and six hardware products designed to bring federal agencies into compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998.

One of the products tested was Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7.0, which enables users to manipulate their entire desktop without touching a keyboard or mouse. The product is made by ScanSoft Inc. of Peabody, Mass.

Dragon 7.0 represents the latest in speech recognition. It lets users not only dictate instructions in applications such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint but also lets users navigate through the desktop by voice, opening and closing applications.

The Lab reviewers also demonstrated the GH Toolbar by GH LLC of West Lafayette, Ind. The GH Toolbar is designed to assist visually impaired users with navigating and completing digital forms. The Lab filled out a 1040 tax form using the software during the show.

The program consists of a toolbar above the document that lets the user highlight fields, and alter background and foreground colors. It can read aloud the fields that are on screen, and can dictate what the user types.

The Lab will conduct a second session at 11 a.m. Thursday at the convention center.

About the Authors

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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