Low-cost speech recognition software, already abundant in the US, is slowly hitting the Japanese consumer market, with NEC Corp planning to release a product which enables voice input of Chinese characters and Japan’s phonetic script without a keyboard. The company says the program, which includes a dictionary of 120,000 Japanese words, has three times the vocabulary of its only competition in the consumer market, a product launched by IBM Japan in March. NEC claims a 99% accuracy rate for the software which can also accept voice input of commands for various e-mail functions such as attaching still or video image files. As with similar products on the US market, users will need a Pentium processor running Windows 95 and 32Mb of RAM. The product is scheduled for release on July 25, with the software-only package going for 4,800 yen ($43), while the package including a microphone will cost 9,800 yen ($87).