Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV (OTC: LHSPQ) (`L&H' or `the Company'), a world leader in speech and language technology, products and services, today announced that its Speech and Language Technologies Division (SLT) has made the L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) Compact SDK (Software Development Kit) generally available. This new member of the award-winning L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) family makes high-quality, natural-sounding text-to-speech (TTS) technology available for a broad spectrum of electronic devices and vertical markets. Applications for this advanced software include mobile devices, such as PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants) and PDT's (Personal Digital Terminals), and handheld computers. The new SDK also empowers numerous vehicle-based information solutions, such as in-vehicle telematics and car navigation systems, offering drivers improved comprehensibility and overall quality of these systems' synthetic voices.
A reduced footprint allows the L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) Compact SDK to speech-enable virtually any application designed for a standard mobile device, such as a PDA running on the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) CE operating system or Linux(R) platform. The software converts several types of written text format, ranging from e-mail to currencies, dates, or web pages, into high-quality, natural-sounding speech. Special text pre-processors generate accurate pronunciation of e-mail addresses, URL's, and date and time formats. In addition, the L&H(TM) Application Programming Interface (API) enables application developers and system integrators to easily and rapidly build a user-friendly speech interface into their applications.
In November 1998, L&H introduced the first version of L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM). Today, L&H continues to be one of the leading companies offering high-quality TTS for the speech and language technology market. L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) is available in 18 languages and is utilized by more than 300 customers worldwide. The L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) Compact SDK is now available in U.S.-English. The languages Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, French and others are scheduled for later this year.
Robert Bury, director of product management, commented: "Ease of use and a natural operating experience for the end user are key performance features for successful mobile applications. For automotive information products and services in particular, a top-quality speech output is essential for safety and comfort. Our new L&H RealSpeak Compact SDK allows PDA manufacturers, mobile CRM systems integrators, car navigation and telematics service providers, and many others to incorporate the high-quality, natural-sounding TTS required for today's solutions."
Markets that benefit from using L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) Compact SDK are:
--Automotive: speech technology provides hands-free and eyes-free access to information from within the vehicle
--Enterprise: voice-enables applications for the mobile workforce that wishes to access business-critical information from almost any location
--Mobile learning: enhances interactive learning, such as foreign language programs
--Mobile games: enhances a player's interactivity with the game
--Industrial: eases the direct delivery and retrieval of data from the factory floor to and from information management systems
Peter Hauser, L&H's vice president and general manager, international and automotive said: "With the launch of L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM) Compact SDK, L&H once again demonstrates its commitment to developing best-of-breed speech technologies and sets yet another new standard for synthesized speech for embedded markets. In addition to the ASR1600 and Distributed Speech Recognition engines, which enable effortless and intuitive voice-controlled access to data and devices, L&H now offers its renowned text-to-speech technology, L&H(TM) RealSpeak(TM), for the mobile and automotive markets." Mr. Hauser added: "For years, L&H has led the TTS market for mobile devices, and now we are taking it to a higher level of performance."
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