Philips and Celforce Launch Gujarat Voice Portal

GUJARAT, INDIA and AACHEN, GERMANY - Philips and Celforce, a Hutchison affiliate and a cellular services provider in the Indian state of Gujarat, announce the launch of Voice Recognition, a speech-enabled voice portal, for Gujarat. The voice portal uses SpeechPearl, the speech recognition and understanding software for telephony systems developed by Philips Speech Processing, a business unit of Philips Electronics and a supplier of speech recognition technology and business solutions. Gujarat's voice portal is the continuation of a series of voice portal services of Hutch (the unified brand name of Hutchinson) in India featuring speech recognition technology from Philips. With the launch of Gujarat's new voice portal, Hutch now offers its more than one million mobile customers in India access to a wide range of information and entertainment services by mobile phone and navigable by voice. Other areas where this service has been deployed include Delhi, Kolkatta, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai and Karnataka. The Celforce Voice Recognition service provides callers with the latest updates on news, stocks and shares, and sports, as well as entertainment including movies and even horoscopes. Celforce's customers need only dial 333 from their mobile phones and state their choice. The system recognizes the caller's voice commands and responds with the requested information. Callers can choose to skip from one service to the other just by saying what they want. The system recognizes the commands and responses accordingly. By saying "help" the caller receives assistance on navigation instantly. The service is also personalized, meaning that once the caller chooses to hear the news in a certain language or asks for the horoscope according to his or her zodiac sign, the system will remember it each time the caller calls. Philips' popular SpeechPearl speech recognition engine was deployed for the Voice Recognition voice portals in co-operation with India's Computer Telephony Private Limited (CTPL), a system integrator and a Philips' partner. SpeechPearl's natural language understanding technology enables callers to speak naturally in their own words without special training, commands or instructions. The system is designed to understand voices, dialects and accents from all over India. Commenting on the deployment of SpeechPearl, Sanjoy Mukerji, COO, Celforce, said, "The launch of the innovative speech-enabled voice portals is in line with our policy of offering innovative services and demonstrates to our customers that it is really possible to speak your request for information into your mobile, and get your answers! Philips' unique technology enables our customers to enjoy service access in the most convenient way. With the ease of entry and use of Voice Recognition our subscribers can enjoy fast and efficient access to a range of information and entertainment services by simply speaking naturally." "SpeechPearl's ability to understand not only Indian English but also words from the respective local languages specially meets the requirements of voice portals in India," said Ruud van Vessem, Chief Operating Officer, Philips Speech Processing/Telephony Solutions. "Our technology enables Celforce's Voice Recognition service to be extremely user-friendly, allowing people to speak their own language or dialect. It is imperative that a caller can talk to the system in a very natural way."
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