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SpeechTEK Europe Multimodal Challenge Winner Named

At this week's SpeechTEK Europe Show in London, Textpilot from Norwegian company Include won the Expert's Prize in the Multimodal Challenge.

Textpilot is an intelligent, multi-sensory software solution that aids with reading, composing, and comprehending text. The software features a carefully thought-out design and interaction model to cater to the needs of a diverse group of users, from people with ordinary writing and reading skills, to those with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, mobility impairments, or users with visual impairments. Textpilot can be used in almost all applications where you work with text. Users can benefit from four tools that aid with reading and writing: Advanced spell checking / proofreading, adaptive word prediction, dictionaries and support reading through text-to-speech. All tools are available in an easy-to-use toolbar that sits on top of any open application, whether you access your computer through a mouse, the keyboard, or assistive technologies. Textpilot's combination of tools removes obstacles, boosts focus, and increases motivation.

Watch the Multimodal Challenge video

Other entries represented a range of innovative applications, including personal assistants for mobile devices, an electronic entry doorman, and tools for aiding the disabled. The other entries were the following:

Personal Health Assistant from Openstream: This multimodal mobile application allows users to create and update personal health records using convenient multimodal interfaces. This application combines reminder/alerting services with location-based searches, maps and directions, image/video capture and annotation, and group-share of selective information securely. It acts as a health-passport for individuals with information on allergies, drug-interactions, and wellness monitoring.

SafeRise from FST21: SafeRise is an intelligent multimodal recognition system used for automated real-time authentication processes related to building access. The system enables biometric recognition based on face, voice, and behavioural patterns, correlated with real-time live information and database cross queries. SafeRise provides easy and convenient access to authorized tenants and approved visitors while maintaining the highest level of security.

FlexT9 for Android from Nuance Communications: FlexT9 for Android combines voice and predictive input to give mobile consumers more control over how they send emails or text messages, search the Web, update their social media status, and more. By combining Nuance's Dragon Dictation, T9 Trace, T9 Write, and XT9, users decide whether they speak, trace, write, or tap via a four-in-one keypad. FlexT9 allows users to switch between input methods with just a simple tap. Supported languages include U.K. and U.S. English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

Talk@TV from OceanBlue Software: Talk@TV is a digital set top box solution that benefits users who are blind or have visual impairments, by voicing the on screen program guide and menu items. Broadcast data, such as the narrative for programs, and static data, such as menu items and layouts, are clearly described by voice.

Prime III from Prime Voting Systems: Prime III allows private and secure voting to people with disabilities by allowing them to vote by touch and/or voice.

The Last Person on Earth Who Doesn't Use Online Banking from Garanti Bank: This project's purpose is to increase the use of online banking by customers of Garanti, one of Turkey's largest banks. The process begins by sending an email to customers, who click on a link that triggers a news video about the last person not using Garanti Internet Banking. During the video, the customer is called on his mobile phone and an interactive conversation begins, during which the customer is persuaded to use Garanti Internet Banking.

MobileCareMyAssistant from Convergys: Convergys Mobile Customer Care blends technology with assisted services to deliver a more personalized, effective, and secure way for on-the-go customers to transact business whenever and wherever they want.

Angel Multimodal Application (Angel-MM) from Angel: Angel-MM is an iPhone application that enables users to engage interactive voice response (IVR) systems in real-time multimodal interactions. Users can engage the IVR in the traditional way of speaking, pushing buttons, and listening, as well as typing responses, reading text, and looking at images pushed to the user by the IVR.  The Angel-MM Application enables anyone to deploy a multimodal application right from Angel's Site Builder tool without coding. Users will be able to build their voice applications and configure the interaction points with the Angel-MM App right from their browsers. To initiate a multimodal interaction, the user calls the IVR by dialing a phone number. The IVR will then send a Push Notification to the phone, asking for permission to engage the user multimodally. Once the user enters into the multimodal interaction, the IVR will be able to communicate with the user by voice, text, and images.

"The Multimodal Challenge submissions demonstrated a variety of user input technologies, including keyboard, speech recognition, speaker recognition, face recognition, and special input devices," said Jiom Larson, SpeechTEK Europe program chair and a member of the Multimodal Challenge judging panel."Our panel of multimodal experts evaluated each submission using the four criteria of originality, user experience, required user training, and quality. The judges unanimously voted Textpilot, from Include, as the winner."

In addition to the Expert's Prize, delegates on site at SpeechTEK Europe were invited to vote for their favorite application. The winner of the People's Choice award went to Angel MM.

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