U.K. Gets World’s First Web-to-WAP-to-Voice Service

[London, ENGLAND] U.K. wireless Internet specialist Waperture
has announced what is claims is the world’s first “Web-to-WAP-to-Voice”
service, enabling both telephone and WAP users to access Internet
content.

The telephone service, named BrowseByPhone, lets users of ordinary
telephones access content by voice and a telephone keypad. The
service is not meant to resemble the rich experience of browsing
the Internet with a PC, but is intended to put people in touch with
specially prepared Web-based content of their choice.

Waperture’s new WAP service runs on its WapGata portal and
provides WAP users with access to the same user-selected
Internet content.

Powering both services is a technology named “GataGrab,” a
proprietary Web-to-WAP-to-voice (wwvTM) “click-and-grab”
technology developed by Waperture. GataGrab lets the user
“grab” a Web page and display the relevant content on a WAP
phone — or have it spoken over an ordinary telephone or
mobile phone via speech synthesis.

David Shaw, marketing manager of Waperture, said that
his company believes that well developed WAP applications
have their place, but that people often want content that
is too data-intensive for a WAP phone.

“And worst still, WAP phones have nowhere near the penetration
of ordinary voice phones. Over 92 percent of the U.K. population
has access to a phone and BrowseByPhone now allows all these
people to access Web based content. No PC, no WAP – they simply
dial a number from any telephone and listen!” said Shaw.

Waperture has teamed with Cambridge-based speech technology
company Vocalis to develop the new services. It sees “no
limit” to the uses that can be found for them, including
such applications as sports enthusiasts accessing their club
or team events and results lists, through to business executives
accessing driving directions or company reports.

Shaw said that Waperture is already in confidential talks
with a prominent news feed service provider and would welcome
hearing from potential users who think the technology will
add value to their own services.

Founded in May 2000 and located in Birmingham, England, the
company can be found on the Web at www.waperture.com.

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