IBM, Intel, Philips and mobile device manufacturers team up to establish
voice technology standards
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. -- April 13,1999
Leaders in speech recognition and mobile technologies today announced at the DemoMobile
99 conference the formation of the Voice Technology Initiative for Mobile Enterprise
Solutions (VoiceTIMES). VoiceTIMES goal is to coordinate the technical requirements
needed for companies to build and deploy solutions using voice technologies and handheld
mobile devices. Inaugural VoiceTIMES alliance members include Dictaphone,
Intel, Norcom Electronics, Olympus and Philips.
With the explosive growth of mobile devices and the increasing demand for network
access, the VoiceTIMES initiative was formed to define specifications for how voice
commands and information are transmitted and received by existing and future mobile
devices. Currently, there are no standards in place for mobile speech-enabled devices. The
VoiceTIMES alliance plans to deliver the specifications and industry cooperation to build
interoperable, cost-effective mobile solutions with voice technology.
In todays world of pervasive computing, users want simple, fast and hassle
free mobile computing devices to connect and communicate, said W.S. Ozzie
Osborne, general manager of IBM Speech Systems. "Through joint collaboration, the
VoiceTIMES alliance aims to eliminate complexities for the consumer and solutions
integrator, while providing future generations of standard compliant speech-enabled mobile
Today, companies wanting to use speech recognition, speaker identification and speech
synthesis with mobile devices are faced with high development costs and proprietary,
incomplete products. Members of the VoiceTIMES alliance plan to solve many of the
technical issues in both hardware and software that arise while incorporating voice
technology in mobile enterprise solutions. As additional technical specifications are
created, they will be submitted to the industry standards bodies for consideration as open
One of the initial joint efforts of the VoiceTIMES alliance will be to conduct highly
targeted research studies to identify enterprise solutions where mobile devices will
significantly enhance -- and in some cases change -- the way companies do business. Since
remote, just in time access to information and computer resources is viewed by
professionals as a major competitive advantage, mobile Internet/intranet access will be a
primary focus for the alliance.
The human voice will become the user interface for the next generation of
productivity tools. As computing technologies become increasingly embedded in a range of
products, speech is the one convenient, consistent and natural way people can effectively
interact with systems, said Chris Shipley, editor of DemoLetter and executive
producer of the Demo Mobile 99 conference. A move toward standards that support
speech technology as a consistent user interface and that facilitate the users
access to information is fundamental to making this vision a reality.
VoiceTIMES Members Represent Key Elements of Mobile Computing
By joining together leaders in microprocessor and system design, mobile devices and
consumer electronics, the VoiceTIMES alliance companies offer a rich array of experience
and technology. These initial members will contribute:
- IBM -- expertise in speech recognition technology and mobile computing, toolkits
for customization, evaluation and testing for mobile devices, transcription extensions,
file formats and client/server protocols.
- e.Digital -- expertise in the design and development of digital mobile devices
interfacing with PCs and the Internet. e.Digital is working with Intel on advanced digital
- Dictaphone -- expertise in the areas of digital recorder design and development
and enterprise related customer environments.
- Intel -- expertise in microprocessor and system design. In addition, Intel will
work closely with IBM to help identify optimal user scenarios for mobile workers to use
distributed speech applications.
- Norcom Electronics -- expertise in creating and bringing to market professional
dictation/speech recognition products and solutions.
- Olympus -- expertise as an innovator in the digital recorder field. Olympus has
in the past worked with other recorder providers, such as Philips, to create recording
standards for digital speech.
- Philips -- expertise in electronic components, speech technology and mobile
Organizations interested in learning more about the VoiceTIMES
alliance can visit http://www.software.ibm.com/voicetimes
VoiceTIMES Alliance Complements Other Industry Efforts
VoiceTIMES will be defining the structure of voice data used in enterprise solutions
including transmission over other wireless standards. The work to establish speech
technology standards extends beyond mobile enterprise to all parts of the computing
environment. Voice recognition, identification and verification solutions that are
currently being integrated into a wide range of products and standards for integration can
not be developed fast enough by one group or alliance. As a result, other standards
alliances are forming to address voice requirements in the areas of accessing information
from the Internet and wireless communications networks. IBM and many of its VoiceTIMES
allies are also participating in these initiatives including VXML, Speech for Java and
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and will coordinate VoiceTIMES activities into the
other alliances as standards develop.
As a pioneer in speech recognition, the company is focused on developing and supporting
open standards that help accelerate the creation of content, servers and browsers that
allow speech recognition technology to be easily integrated into voice, data and
applications infrastructures. IBMs ViaVoice speech recognition technology is based
on 30 years of speech recognition research and development. With a portfolio of more than
100 patents, an established R&D business worldwide, and a robust, proven speech
technology available in many languages, IBM is a leader in speech recognition.
IBM has established a reputation for developing and engineering
innovative mobile solutions. Through its award-winning ThinkPad notebook computers,
WorkPad PC Companion and CrossPad products, the company is recognized as a leader in
mobile computing. For more information about IBM, visit the World Wide Web at http://www.ibm.com.
# # #
IBM and ViaVoice are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business
Machines Corporation. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation in the United
States and/or other countries. Other company, product, and service names are the
trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
MEDIA CONTACTS FOR VOICETIMES
Olympus PR Representative
Philips Speech Processing
+43 1 60101 1128
Member Comments on VoiceTIMES
Dictaphone has been a leader in developing mobile and enterprise-wide solutions
for the Healthcare, Legal, and Law Enforcement Markets. We believe VoiceTIMES will
establish open standards for mobile voice and data devices to deliver "user
friendly" integrated systems solutions."
-- Rob Schwager, senior vice president and general manager, Dictaphone Voice Systems
e.Digital has been innovating advanced digital mobile solutions for the business
dictation and medical industry for the last three years. We believe VoiceTIMES will allow
e.Digital to expand development of mobile information gathering devices employing speech
and leverage our product designs into many additional industry solutions."
-- Ron Whittier, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Content Group
"Norcom has been developing mobile solutions for physicians in the Medical
Industry for the last few years. VoiceTIMES will enable us to develop better medical
solutions and expand our voiceprinting capability to other industries."
-- Bruce Hansen, CEO of Norcom Electronics Corp.
"Olympus has been working with several customers to develop mobile solutions for
Insurance Investigators. These solutions require combining the information from our
Digital Cameras and Digital recorders. VoiceTIMES will help standardize the way companies
capture, store and access digital information."
-- Michael Handa, assistant division manager, Digital Imaging and Systems Group,
"Philips Speech Processing is a world market leader in analogue and digital speech
input devices, successfully serving professional dictation markets, such as legal and
medical, for more than 40 years. We believe VoiceTIMES will allow Philips to expand its
market reach of mobile dictation solutions and leverage our products into additional
-- Ron van den Bos, CEO and president, Philips Speech Processing