Conversay Jumps into Linux PDA Market

Following its previous work on PDA platforms such as Pocket PC, Redmond-based Conversay announced it will provide the speech interface for the Linux-based YOPY PDA system.

Conversay’s work with the YOPY will help in making it the first Linux PDA to employ a speech interface.

“Support of Linux was a natural step for Conversay,” says Matt Scheuing, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Conversay. “Based on the number of initiatives we’re encountering, Linux is the new hot platform for handhelds. We are pleased that our next-generation system will be a part of the YOPY — this is a state-of-the-art device and nicely complements the work we’ve done with other platforms, such as Pocket PC.”

Beginning with the YOPY, Linux-based devices are expected to grow to nine percent of the handheld device market by 2003, according to analyst group

Conversay’s speech recognition and text synthesis engine will be incorporated into the device, expected for worldwide release in first quarter of 2001.

“We see the speech-enabled YOPY as expanding the popular conception of what a PDA can do,” says Sang-Un Yoo, chief operating officer at G.Mate, one of the developers of YOPY.

One application, which officials at Conversay believe will be very powerful, is a location and direction service that will be accessible through spoken command and control.

Using spoken commands, users of speech-enabled YOPY devices can access and use GPS positioning services, through an application developed by CenterComm, aimed primarily for use in the automotive arena.

“Adding the speech interface makes our location services a natural for the automotive environment,” says Kiem Le, president and CEO at CenterComm. “Being able to ask for location and direction, and have them spoken back to you, makes it a completely hands-free system that is ideal for use in the car.”

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