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RealTime IT News

Speak Up: Voice Activated Browsing Debuts

Trying to make keyboards a thing of the past, Internet software companySpyglass Inc. teamed up with Lucent Technologies Inc. to introduce voice-activated Web browsing.

A concept prototype service being shown at this year's Wireless IT Conference. It is designed to enable users to dial a single number and through simple voice commands, to navigate through standard Web pages obtaining voice-synthesized information.

The phone browser couples telephony, speech recognition and text-to-speech technology, developed by Lucent's Bell Laboratories, with Spyglass Prism, a server-based content delivery application platform that visits Web sites and selectively extracts and packages content into a format best suited for telephones.

"We had been experimenting with a voice-based user interface for Spyglass Prism for some time," said Randy Littleson, Spyglass general manager. "But it was only after joining Lucent's Cooperative Innovations program that we had access to the cutting edge telephony, voice recognition and text-to-speech technology that had been developed by the Bell Labs group."

The companies said the technology will be targeted at online service providers looking to provide telephone-only access to the Internet.

A schematic of the Lucent/Spyglass phone browser is available at the Spyglass Web site.