Motorola (NYSE: MOT), a global leader in integrated communications solutions, and Webhelp, a developer of technology and service offerings that enable it to provide online communication solutions to businesses and consumers, announced today a joint venture to enhance wireless customer service and Internet searches over the PalmT operating system. The two companies have agreed to co- develop and market an application for personal digital assistants (PDAs) that gives consumers the ability to request and receive personalized Internet search results directly on their mobile devices.
The new application combines Motorola's iSKETCHT handwriting technology with Webhelp's online assistance. iSKETCHT enables users to hand-write and exchange notes, drawings and signatures directly into mobile devices. Webhelp uses a staff of human "Online Service Professionals" (OSPs) to supply real-time answers -- users send a request, a Webhelp OSP retrieves the information and sends it back via computer or mobile device. Webhelp's OSPs can conduct Internet searches for consumers and provide online customer support or field service on behalf of Webhelp's corporate clients. The iSKETCHT /Webhelp combination will allow users to make information requests that will be read and answered by Webhelp representatives using the iSKETCHT Java applet. For example, consumer questions such as "When is the next flight from New York to Los Angeles?" or queries from the field such as "When can I schedule delivery of a new circuit board?" will be answered either by customized search results that direct the user to the most relevant Internet sites or by a direct answer from the OSP. These suggestions are received as text messages on consumers' mobile devices.
"Motorola is working with Webhelp to provide efficient and fast Internet search capabilities to wireless customers," said Craig Peddie, general manager of Motorola's Silicon Valley-based Lexicus Division. "iSKETCHT supports consumers' connected lifestyles by providing tools to ask questions and locate information through their own handwriting from any location. This is a convenience that will help speed consumer and business adoption of m- commerce."
"Our goal is to remove as many barriers as possible to browsing, buying and selling online with technology that enables natural and intuitive Internet-based, person-to-person communication," said Kerry Adler, president and CEO of Webhelp. "Our partnership with Motorola will bring Webhelp's unique and value-added search capabilities to a larger number of consumers through user-friendly and wireless applications that function remotely."
The teaming of Motorola's iSKETCHT software and Webhelp's platform also enables consumers to conduct secure m-commerce with encryption for security and over-the-air signature verification, transfer visuals between devices and PCs via e-mail, conduct collaborative whiteboard sessions via instant-messaging and use different ink colors to add clarity and creativity to notes. These applications bring more sophisticated and useful options to wireless Internet browsing and information exchange. Advanced wireless applications such as Motorola and Webhelp's solution will enable users to access the information necessary to capitalize on today's exploding global m-commerce market.
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