IBM and Nokia to Collaborate on Speech Technology Research and Development: IBM Unveils New Speech Industry Developments with VoiceTIMES

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NEW YORK - 27 Oct 1999: -- IBM and Nokia today extended their global partnership to include shared research and development for the growth of speech recognition in the mobile marketplace.

The two companies, together, hope to drive the proliferation of open industry standards for speech technologies and will collaborate on a wide range of speech technology projects in the areas of speech recognition, conversational systems, text to speech and speaker recognition. IBM and Nokia will also share resources for long-term research and development, with a focus on VoiceXML, multi-modal Internet browsing, and other speech-enabled applications.

In addition, IBM also led the introduction of the first audio specifications for digital recorders, making it easier for companies to speech-enable mobile devices. The collaboration between IBM and Nokia -- as well as the availability of audio specifications for digital recorders and speech recognition applications from the Voice Technology Initiative for Mobile Enterprise Solutions (VoiceTIMES) -- are key components to IBM's overall initiative to drive open standards and make speech a common interface for mobile devices.

"The speech interface will become an important, integrated part of future personal mobile terminals and a wide variety of communications services. The partnership with IBM for developing VoiceXML based solutions is consistent with Nokia's strategy to bring the Internet to everyone's pocket. With the help of IBM's extensive portfolio of speech technologies in different languages Nokia will continue to lead in user interface innovation in both terminals and applications,'' says Mr. Juhani Kuusi, Senior Vice President, Nokia Research Center.

In connection with the speech technology partnership, Nokia has licensed IBM's ViaVoice Directory Dialer, which allows the company to deliver automated directory assistance and call routing. Users need only dial one phone number and, after a quick prompt, state the name of the person they want to call; the caller is then connected to that person's extension, or provided requested information such as e-mail address, pager or fax number. IBM's ViaVoice Directory Dialer enables universal access to data quickly and easily.

"By forging innovative relationships with industry leaders such as Nokia, IBM is making it easier for the increasing number of mobile users to gain access to information anytime from anywhere. Our goal in developing these industry relationships is to accelerate the growth of speech recognition beyond the PC and make it easy to use on any mobile device,'' says W.S. "Ozzie'' Osborne, general manager, IBM Speech and Pen Systems. "Working closely with Nokia and VoiceTIMES will further enhance open standards to make speech the common interface.''

VoiceTIMES Specifications
IBM and the seven inaugural VoiceTIMES members have developed comprehensive audio specifications for digital recorders and speech recognition applications. These specifications will make it easy and cost-effective for mobile users to compute from any hand-held device. The open specifications offer technical guidelines for companies integrating voice technology into their mobile solutions and enterprise computing software. The goal of the VoiceTIMES specifications is to accelerate the acceptance of speech technology as the universal interface for today's mobile devices from digital recorders to the Smart Phone and beyond. The specifications are available for download at

"Speech technology is critical for computer users as well as corporations and enterprise computing environments,'' says Jim Forbes, executive editor, Demo Letter. "Hardware and speech recognition technology will converge in the near future. Speech and voice recognition technologies can be used to build intuitive interfaces and enterprise applications as well as client-based systems that make computing easier and more instinctive. VoiceTIMES and the specifications will play a large role in making that happen.''

IBM strategic relationships and alliances have helped move speech beyond the desktop by incorporating voice recognition technologies into other products that create a more natural human-to-computer interface. Just like VoiceXML, Java and ViaVoice for Linux, the IBM/Nokia relationship and the VoiceTIMES specifications are the next steps for IBM driving open standards technology to one day eliminate the complexity of doing business enterprise-wide.

At SpeechTEK Show in New York City, IBM demonstrated a variety of leading-edge technologies, including the first VoiceXML-enabled Web browser, which allows you to access the Web via the telephone. Developers now have the tools needed to create and test voice-enabled sites and applications. IBM is currently supporting selected customers to create pilot applications and encourages developers to download code from IBM's alphaWorks site at

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