Collaboration will enable voice navigation of UP.Browser microbrowser on handsets

Conversa, the award-winning developer of speech recognition technologies, and, Inc. (Nasdaq:PHCM), a leading provider of mobile Internet software, applications and services, announced today that the companies have signed an agreement that calls for the interface of Conversa's advanced speech technology with the™ WAP-compatible UP.Browser™ microbrowser. The two technologies working side by side will enable wireless phones to launch and control's UP.Browser with spoken commands.

"We expect our agreement with Conversa and our joint development efforts to offer the first voice navigation-enabled WAP browser," said Jeff Damir, vice president of the device product group at "Conversa's device-based embedded recognizer is going to enable hands-free control, a long awaited milestone in the evolution of the wireless Internet."

The UP.Browser microbrowser, currently licensed to more than 30 leading wireless phone manufacturers, enables Internet access from wireless devices. Optimizing embedded speech recognition technology from Conversa for the UP.Browser is expected to result in the first device-based voice-navigation user interface for Internet-enabled mobile phones. Mobile phone users will then be able to easily and quickly access Internet-based information by spoken commands. Conversa's speech recognition technology complements existing methods of input enabled by the UP.Browser: pen and keypad input.

"This effort with is an unparalleled opportunity to forge the next level of Internet navigation, through enhanced capabilities for cellular users," said Dave Anastasi, CEO of Conversa. "This type of momentum with pioneering industry leaders demonstrates the acceptance of the rapidly growing wireless Internet device market."

The wireless Web is growing at an exponential rate - industry analyst firm Strategy Analytics predicts that more than half a billion Web-enabled phones will be shipped by 2003. Easier navigation through voice command also means Internet content providers could likely see increased access to their online information. Wireless carriers are expected to also benefit through increased use of their WAP services and systems.

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