SpeechWorks and Speech Design Power SMS-to-Voice Delivery to Any Telephone

BOSTON, MA and GERMERING, GERMANY - SpeechWorks International Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), a provider of speech recognition and TTS technologies and services, has partnered with Speech Design to offer speech recognition and TTS services to telecommunications organizations across the world. Together, they have deployed an SMS-to-voice service for Deutsche Telekom.

The Deutsche Telekom service delivers SMS (short messaging service) messages from a T-Mobile mobile phone to a fixed-line telephone. Approximately two million SMS messages have been sent to the fixed line network each month since the launch of Deutsche Telekom's SMS-to-voice service in July 2001. 900 million SMS are transmitted through Deutsche Tele-kom's T-Mobile network each month, representing a growth in SMS and data transmission.

The Deutsche Telekom speech service is powered by SpeechWorks' ETI-Eloquence em-bedded, TTS product and Speech Design's THOR platform. A player in the German Unified Messaging space, Speech Design is working with SpeechWorks to deliver speech-enabled solutions to telecom organizations using SpeechWorks' Open-Speech Recognizer engine, and Speechify and ETI-Eloquence TTS engines.

ETI-Eloquence provides fixed line telephone users with access to the world of SMS, which has historically been restricted to mobile communication. If an SMS recipient does not own a new SMS-capable fixed line phone then the message is routed to the THOR plat-form. There the message is converted to speech using SpeechWorks' TTS software.

For example, a mobile user can key in a message on their mobile phone's keypad and have that message delivered to an individual on a fixed line phone. When the addressee answers their phone, the Speech Design solution announces the incoming message and uses the SpeechWorks software to read the contents of that SMS to the individual. This service utilizes a dictionary which identifies typical SMS jargon and so-called "emoticons" which are particularly popular among younger SMS users. For example, a "smiley face" en-tered in the mobile handset can generate a laugh at the other end of the phone line.

"We are excited to partner with SpeechDesign to deliver this innovative, new solution to Deutsche Telekom," said Howard Gross, vice president and managing director of Interna-tional at SpeechWorks. "SMS has proven to be the killer application in Europe and other regions. Around the world, a total of 75 billion text messages were sent in the first quarter of this year. Using speech, telecom providers can offer new, enhanced services to their custom-ers and drive minutes of use."

"We compared SpeechWorks' ETI-Eloquence with rival products. In terms of footprint, intel-ligibility and flexibility to tuning, ETI-Eloquence was the clear winner in all the acceptance tests undertaken among end users," said Kasimir Arciszewski, chief executive officer of Speech Design.

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