RealTime IT News

Say What? DSR Goes Wireless

SpeechWorks International Inc. and Motorola have teamed up to develop what they say is the first Distributed Speech Recognition prototype (DSR) deployed over a wireless network.

Boston-based SpeechWorks , a provider of speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies, said the prototype uses its OpenSpeech Recognizer (OSR) speech recognition engine and DSR architecture.

Meanwhile, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM launched WebSphere Voice Server for Transcription, a speech recognition technology based on its ViaVoice product that allows companies to implement speech-to-text transcription solutions.

SpeechWorks and Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola have created a field-force automation application that allows a sales representative to check the status of any account by speaking into a handheld device from the road, as well as a travel reservation application that allows travelers to check the status of a flight while traveling.

The companies said the DSR architecture allows applications to combine local speech processing that occurs entirely on the device with remote access to network-based speech services.

Signal processing, including noise reduction, occurs on the device, which then sends data over a digital network to a network-based speech service. The network-based service processes the signal to determine the user's request and responds to the caller using a voice output, visual display, or both.

"Distributed speech recognition is essential to improving wireless speech recognition especially in noisy environments like airports and train stations," said Chris White, director of speech products and multimodal in Motorola's Internet Content and Software Group.

"SpeechWorks provided us with the technology and professional services that were critical in developing a prototype on a 2.5G wireless network. We also believe that the multimodal functionality will be an attractive application for sales force automation and other end user applications such as driving directions and personal information management."

IBM said its new product, which contains a pre-packaged dictionary of more than 160,000 words and specialized vocabulary sets available for specific industries, allows professionals such as doctors and lawyers to dictate medical records or legal documents any time, anywhere for automated transcription.

Because it is server-based, users can train the system to recognize their particular speech patterns, and accents, and then dictate from any location, using any communication device. And the Topic Factory, a built-in tool, allows developers to add specialty vocabularies, IBM said.