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Animated Instant Voice Messages

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CeBIT 2005 Siemens is to introduce a new mobile service called Animated Instant Voice Messages at CeBIT, which kicks off tomorrow in Hanover, Germany. The software will convert an SMS message into speech and synchronises it with an animated character other users can see on their screen. These animations could be fantasy characters or pictures taken with a camera phone. According to Siemens, the software will automatically recognise the position of the lips in a face on a digital photo. Talking SMS messages are sent through IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem).

Siemens will also showcase a Digital Video Broadcast Handheld at CeBIT for DVB H broadcasts. Although it is principally a 365 mobile phone, the device has a fairly large LCD screen with a built in 1,3 megapixel camera, stereo loudspeakers and a 128 MB hard drive for recording and watching television shows. Users can also watch movie trailers and order tickets for cinemas. Siemens hopes to introduce the device next year.

DVB-H is expected to be deployed in Europe in 2006. Later this year O2, together with broadcaster NTL and Nokia, will begin a six-month consumer DVB-H trial involving 250 customers in Oxford. The companies will use a single-frequency network equipped with nine transmitters covering 120-square-kilometers. Other trials are underway in Germany (Berlin) and Finland (Helsinki).

In related news, T-Online has announced a first movie download service for mobile video players. Movies can be watched in a 320 x 240 resolution. Users will need to have a DSL connection. ®

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