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Trekkies Speak, And P Cs Listen


Bits & Bytes

TREKKIES SPEAK, AND PCs LISTEN

TIRED OF POINTING AND CLICKING WITH YOUR PC'S MOUSE to interact with multimedia CD-ROMs? Simon & Schuster Interactive, a division of Viacom Inc., takes a more futuristic approach to fit in with the futuristic subject of its Star Trek Omnipedia CD-ROM--voice commands.

The disk, filled with over 6,000 index entries and 2,000 color photos and illustrations of the fictional Star Trek realm, includes speech-recognition technology developed by Dragon Systems Inc. in Newton, Mass. Die-hard Trekkies with a microphone-equipped multimedia computer can interact with the database by merely saying "show photo" or "next topic." The program also includes more than 100 QuickTime movies drawn from the seven feature films and the four television series. Say "play video," and the PC responds. Unfortunately, the speech-recognition feature isn't as omniscient as computers in the 24th century. It is limited to a few phrases, and "shoot Klingons" isn't one of them.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG


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