Reader, Assistant, Navigator and Travel Manager

Doesn´t this sound like an all too familiar scenario: While driving in your car it suddenly dawns on you that you have not yet made the vitally important phone call to your client. The problem is though that either the number is currently unavailable or you cannot access the directory of your mobile phone without putting yourself at risk. The consequence is that you simply put the call off. At the end of the day this is not just a nuisance but may bring a veritable cost burden for companies in its train. These kind of shortcomings calculated on an annual basis mean that vast numbers of mobile employees are losing valuable and economically costly time. The panacea to effectively remedy this deficit is to come in the shape of ultra-modern voice systems. ”In future innovative voice applications will become a constant virtual companion of the mobile user”, predicts Lupo Pape, Voice expert and Managing Director of SemanticEdge www.semanticedge.com, in his lecture delivered at the Voice Search Conference in San Diego. www.voicesearchconference.com.

His Berlin-domiciled Company is engaged in the creation of software solutions designed to facilitate steering mobile end-devices via voice. The aim is for virtual Personal Assistants to not only make telephone connections via speech recognition or facilitate SMS-dication on the mobile phone but to provide answers to the more demanding questions, such as “Who in actual fact was Simone de Beauvoir?” or “Where is the nearest Starbucks Café”. While initiating this, the virtual PAs are to avail themselves of services like wikipedia or google.

Today this vision has already become reality, at least partially: The Personal Assistant, as has been specifically developed for the automobile group Daimler, is already used by the Group´s workforce as an effective operator, communication and assistance application. “While on the way in the car the system reads e-mails or searches for the next connecting train for the onward journey. It recognises both the private and business directory of its user and can effect an immediate telephone connection once it is preceded by a speech input like for instance “mobile phone of Martin Meyer”, explains Pape.

The pre-requisite for this is the so-called composite word recognition, by virtue of which the system can identify individual words as well as word combinations. “This capability is a further step on the onerous path to the final destination: that is the recognition of human voice without restrictions in vocabulary”, says Pape.

The System is connected to a Least-Cost-Router. As a result it automatically chooses the most favourable telephone connection while implementing a so-called one-number-concept which guarantees that staff members can constantly be reached. “Since they may be reached literally everywhere via a particular extension, they offer their clients and business partners a perfect service“, stresses Pape. According to Steve Ballmer, Head of Microsoft, the numerous advantages of the application are genuinely trailblazing. “As a consequence umpteen different phone numbers and addresses will become obsolete“, emphasized Ballmer in his opening address at Cebit Trade Fair.

With “more success and impact with voice“ as its overriding motto, the Voice Days Trade Congress to be held in Wiesbaden, from 15 until 16 October 2008, www.voicedays.de, will present topical developments drawing on all relevant areas and media of voice processing: “The issues to be presented at the Congress are as varied as speech recognition as an input or output medium for mobile phones, speech recognition in general, the search for audio contents, access to information on the internet or the use in reality-life TV“, organizer Jens Klemann of the Bad Homburg Management Consultancy Strateco www.strateco.de told pressetext. In “Trendforum“ at the Voice Days Congress the currently most important fields of innovations may be visited. “Examples to this end are mobile services powered by voice, dictation functions and voicemail-reader, multichannel-solutions as well as speech-biometry for safe telephone and online banking. The range of innovative thematic fields exhibited will further include analyses tools for quality control, prospects for voice web 3.0 and the semantic web“, emphasises Klemann.

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