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Time is on my side...and Speech is on the move

Time IS on my side! The Rolling Stones were obviously ahead of their time with this idea! Who would have thought in 1964 that we would now be able to use our time so much more productively? With the help of today's hand-held speech recognition devices, you can dictate letters, emails, and memos or record any thought you might have while away from your office and have the information transcribed directly from your hand-held to your computer when you return. Commuting time no longer has to be wasted on road rage or spent pondering why traffic just can't seem to move when you want to get somewhere (or planes can't be on time, or...). Speech recognition in hand-held devices just keeps getting better with time. Some of the many enhancements that have been made to hand-helds include longer recording times, shorter download times and reduced size for portability. The following is a sampling of the many options available in hand-held devices today.
IBM, Intel, Philips and Mobile Device Manufacturers Team Up to Establish Voice Technology Standards

Leaders in speech recognition and mobile technologies recently announced the formation of the Voice Technology Initiative for Mobile Enterprise Solutions (VoiceTIMES). VoiceTIMES' goal is to coordinate the technical requirements needed for companies to build and deploy solutions using voice technologies and hand-held mobile devices. Inaugural VoiceTIMES alliance members include Dictaphone, e.Digital, IBM, Intel, Norcom Electronics, Olympus and Philips.

With the explosive growth of mobile devices and the increasing demand for network access, the VoiceTIMES initiative was formed to define specifications for how voice commands and information are transmitted and received by existing and future mobile devices. Currently, there are no standards in place for mobile speech-enabled devices. The VoiceTIMES alliance plans to deliver the specifications and industry cooperation to build interoperable, cost-effective mobile solutions with voice technology.

Today, companies wanting to use speech recognition, speaker identification and speech synthesis with mobile devices are faced with high development costs and proprietary, incomplete products. Members of the VoiceTIMES alliance plan to solve many of the technical issues in both hardware and software that arise while incorporating voice technology in mobile enterprise solutions. As additional technical specifications are created, they will be submitted to the industry standards bodies for consideration as open standards solutions.

One of the initial joint efforts of the VoiceTIMES alliance will be to conduct highly targeted research studies to identify enterprise solutions where mobile devices will significantly enhance -- and in some cases change -- the way companies do business. Since remote, just in time access to information and computer resources is viewed by professionals as a major competitive advantage, mobile Internet/intranet access will be a primary focus for the alliance.

Organizations interested in learning more about the VoiceTIMES alliance can visit www.ibm.com/voiceTIMES.

Olympus DS-150
The Olympus DS-150 is a compact digital voice recorder that offers digital editing capabilities that let you make deletions and insertions at will. You can also access recordings without rewinding or fast-forwarding. A large, easy-to-read LCD panel displays index numbers, recording time and other key information at a glance. It also features a built-in memory that offers up to 160 minutes of recording time with a Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) that continuously optimizes memory usage as you record. Downloading speech files to a PC is easy with the DS-150 because built-in editing and advanced DSS (Digital Speech Standard) compression technology ensure small file sizes. It can be connected to your computer with the PC data transfer cable that is included, or an optional USB data transfer. The DS-150 comes with the latest IBM ViaVoice software and a headset for dictation directly into your PC. The DS-150 is also packaged in Lernout & Hauspie's VoiceXpress Mobile Professional product. For more information contact Olympus at http://www.olympus.com or call 800-622-6372 Dragon NaturallySpeaking Mobile
This system packages Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred speech recognition software, the Dragon NaturallyMobile pocket-sized recorder and Dragon NaturallyMobileTM software for recorded speech. Users can record information into the Dragon NaturallyMobile pocket recorder using the high quality built-in microphone that can be used in most office settings. A headphone jack and a high quality noise-canceling headset are also included for use in noisy environments. When the user is ready, the recordings can be downloaded to a PC using a high-speed serial link and the software provided with the product. Dragon NaturallySpeaking will transcribe the text and can also execute commands for formatting and editing text. Dragon reports that the recorded speech can be transcribed at a speed faster than real time, meaning faster than it took the person to record it. The recording is stored digitally in a compressed format. The recorder weighs 4 ounces (excluding batteries), and can fit into a shirt pocket or be held in the palm of a hand. It can hold up to 40 minutes of dictation with its built-in memory. An additional 20, 40 or 81 minutes can be added with removable flash memory cards of 2MB, 4MB or 8MB respectively. For more information, visit Dragon's website at http://www.dragonsystems.com, or call 617-965-5200 Norcom 2500 Professional Dictation Machine
The Norcom 2500 is being teamed with the Norcom SRC-1 coupler and the IBM ViaVoice 98 continuous speech software in the new Norcom VOICEPORT Mobility Package. This product allows the user to dictate into the recorder anywhere, at any time, and later have the speech converted into text in your computer. The Norcom 2500 weighs in at 5.9 ounces with the batteries and minicassette. Other features of this recorder include a single slide switch that controls all dictation functions, pause control, an electret condenser microphone, and a Record/Battery light that indicates record mode and warns of low battery. A foam-lined leatherette case is also included with the product. The Norcom 2500 can be used either as a hand microphone at the computer, or as a dictating machine away from the computer. For more information, visit http://www.norcom-electronics.com, or call 203-374-1500
Speaking of Hand-Helds...Voice Enters the Palm-Size PC Arena with Philips NinoVoice.

A new, extended feature of the Nino palm-size PC, Philips NinoVoice is a voice recognition software that facilitates the use of Nino to a great extent. Multiple screen taps are no longer needed to navigate through several layers of organization hierarchy. Just speak directly into Nino's built-in microphone to access its applications, notes and other information by voice commands.

Philips NinoVoice uses Philips VoCon technology to recognize and process voice commands. VoCon is a small-sized speech recognizer which copes with natural (continuous) speech. Words spoken into Nino's built-in microphone are recorded, processed and transformed into commands that function similar to commands called from menus or sub-menus. The high degree to which the spoken commands are understood is gained by a previous user-dependent training of commands.

To learn more about Philips NinoVoice and Nino, visit their website at www.speech.philips.com.

Pocket BiteMate(tm) from E.W. Bridge
The Pocket BiteMate(tm) is a solid state digital recorder/player of sound bites, which combines a pocket size recorder with multimedia sound quality, PDA functions and easy digital connection with PCs. It has an internal high-sensitivity microphone and high-output speaker combined with an advanced sound synthesis processor and firmware to avoid excess compression. Models 400 and 800 have respectively 4MB (20 minutes short play, 50 minutes long) and 8MB (40 min., 100 min.) of memory. The Pocket BiteMate(tm) can be used with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred software (sold separately) for dictation with speech recognition. It can also be used to insert sound bites into email, documents, presentations and Web pages. For more information visit their website at http://www.ewbridge.com, or call them at 650-851-7421 Voice It(r) Mobile Digital Recorder
Voice It Worldwide, Inc. has recently introduced their hand-held, Mobile Digital Recorder (VTR Series) that can be used to convert voice recordings into file-based text. The VTR recorder capabilities are compatible with speech processing software from Dragon Systems and IBM. The pocket-sized recording unit comes with Voice It(r) Link PC interface software and a serial port cable. Users can store up to 74 minutes of voice dictation on internal flash memory and add to the capacity up to 3 hours, 42 minutes with removable memory cards. The company indicates that users can download dictation directly from the Mobile Digital Recorder to a PC in a fraction of the original recording time using the Voice It Link software. Additionally, the software provides an on-screen transcription window that runs alongside word processing programs. The recorder also allows users to select any of the three recording speeds and a recording capacity that best suits their needs. Recordings can be reviewed in the normal and fast speeds without changes in pitch. The recorder also allows users to insert and delete passages or apply index marks to highlight key sections at the push of a button. For more information call Voice It at 800-47-VOICE, or visit their web site at http://www.voiceit.com.
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