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Comdex: Mobiles to do more than phone home

November 18, 1999
Web posted at: 10:01 a.m. EST (1501 GMT)

by Ephraim Schwartz


LAS VEGAS (IDG) -- Lernout & Hauspie (L&H), the creator of the Voice Express family of speech products, on Tuesday announced improvements to its speech engine and agreements to develop various voice-enabled technologies for use on mobile phones.

L&H will be deploying a new language model as part of its speech engine next year which, among other things, will be able to eliminate filler sounds such as "aah" and "um."

At a press conference here, an L&H representative demonstrated the new model by pausing between every sentence of a dictation with one of the filler sounds. The "aahs" and "ums" did not confuse the recognition engine, nor were they included in the text version of the e-mail that the speech engine generated.
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Gaston Bastiaens, president and CEO of L&H, also announced support for Linux in the Voice Express software developer kit and native support for the StrongArm embedded chip. By supporting embedded processors, users will see dictation capabilities in a handheld device early next year.

"What is coming is a mobile dictation product incorporated into a cell phone," Bastiaens said.

Small screens and keyboards that are, for all practical purposes, unusable will necessitate a voice-user interface for handheld devices, according to Gerry Purdy, president of Mobile Insights in Mountain View, Calif.

L&H also announced a deal with Symbian Technology to incorporate L&H's International CorrectSpell spell checker and its IntelliFinder voice-retrieval technology on the Symbian platform.

Symbian currently has deals with Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia to put its operating system on to mobile phones and the first devices will ship next quarter.

Ephraim Schwartz is an InfoWorld editor at large, based in San Francisco.

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Universal translators move into the real world
(InfoWorld Electric)
Free speech comes to the Internet
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Lernout & Hauspie reports higher revenue, profits
(InfoWorld Electric)
Intel, Lernout & Hauspie form speech technology venture
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L&H licenses speech for the enterprise
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Lotus, L&H to enable e-mail, Web page translation
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Intel sites to leap across linguistic gap
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Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products Inc.
Symbian, Ltd.
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