Speech-enabled web surfing --- now that is cool

IBM ViaVoice speaks to the masses

IBM's latest speech recognition offering, ViaVoice Millennium, made its US debut today. The recognition accuracy has been improved making it easier to use for every day tasks, the company said. The products learn the speech patterns of a number of users, so that accuracy improves with use and is not limited to one staff of family member. The Web Millennium and Pro Millennium versions also provide speech-enabled web surfing. Users can speak directly into AOL, IE and Netscape browsers. The software is integrated with the MS Office platform, and works with Lotus 1-2-3. Users can also move between applications, send emails, create documents and schedule appointments all by voice. The program will prompt changes to the settings if accuracy can be improved, and it will read emails back to the sender to check for mistakes. Three versions are 0available: ViaVoice Standard, ViaVoice Web and ViaVoice Pro. Each targets a different user group, but work in much the same way. The products are available now in the US at RRPs of $59.95, $79.95 and $179 respectively. IBM will make ViaVoice Millennium available in Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish over the next few months. The UK English version is released next week. ®

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