Mid–Size Footprint Delivers Unparalleled Voice Quality and Virtuoso Voice Identity Program Provides Custom Voice Building Capabilities
Boston, MA -- May 14, 2002 -- SpeechWorks International, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPWX), the global leader in speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies and services, today introduced Speechify Solo™ software, an embedded TTS engine that sets a new performance threshold for voice quality and memory size in the embedded TTS market. Speechify Solo software is ideal for embedded solutions such as automotive, hand-held computers, and home entertainment systems.
Speechify Solo software makes a high-quality, natural sounding voice in a compact, efficient memory footprint available to device manufacturers so they can enhance the personality and brand awareness of their devices, increasing consumer appeal. SpeechWorks will demonstrate Speechify Solo's performance capabilities in its booth (#349) at the Auto Interiors Show, May 14-16, in Detroit, Michigan.
Speechify Solo software's natural sounding voice creates new opportunities for a host of applications in the hand-held computing, home entertainment and automotive industries. For example, Speechify Solo can read any text-based information such as email from PDAs and other devices. It can provide personalized program information for set-top cable boxes and home entertainment systems, such as "Hello John, the Red Sox are playing tonight at 7:00PM Eastern on ESPN". In addition, it provides a highly intelligible voice for navigation systems; a hands-free interface for vehicle information and controls such as car radio, temperature control and owner's manual information; and safety alerts and scheduled maintenance reminders. For example, "Attention: your air filter is due for replacement. Please proceed to the Ford dealership at 236 W. Main Street for service".
Speechify Solo software is based on Speechify™ 2.1 technology, which provides TTS so natural, it's difficult to distinguish from human speech. To sample Speechify 2.1 capabilities, take the Speechify Challenge, located at www.speechifychallenge.com. Speechify and Speechify Solo software use concatenated speech synthesis where segments of actual recorded human voice are used to speak out the text, resulting in high quality, natural sounding TTS. Speechify Solo performs concatenation using a smaller database than Speechify, resulting in voice quality that closely mirrors Speechify 2.1 software but in a footprint starting at 8MB. Like Speechify, Speechify Solo can handle ambiguous text input, such as the ability to distinguish between drive and doctor when using the abbreviation "Dr.". In addition, its easy-to-use dictionary provides custom pronunciations and the ability to add unique text for specific domains.
"Speechify Solo delivers highly natural speech in a memory footprint smaller than Speechify, allowing advanced functions to reside on the client-side of a device, whether in-dashboard, handheld or set-top," said Rachel L. MacAulay, senior analyst with The Kelsey Group. "This compact version of Speechify 2.1 further extends SpeechWorks' position in the embedded technology marketplace." According to the 2002 Voice Ecosystem Report published by The Kelsey Group, embedded software license revenues for both speech recognition and TTS will grow from $38 million in annual shipments in 2002 to approximately $330 million in 2006.
Virtuoso V.I.P.™ (Voice Identity Program)
Speechify Solo software offers the Virtuoso V.I.P.™ (Voice Identity Program), a custom voice building service that allows SpeechWorks to rapidly produce new, custom Speechify Solo voices. With Virtuoso V.I.P., device manufacturers can select the live voice talent from which SpeechWorks can build a custom voice using Speechify Solo. Because all of SpeechWorks' custom voices, both for Speechify and Speechify Solo, leverage the same technology device manufacturers can use the same voice whether they are deploying TTS for network services or embedded devices.
"Speechify Solo is a breakthrough technology that gives a human voice to the car and other devices, and by doing so, offers organizations an exciting opportunity to extend their brand with speech to a whole new range of products," said Alan Schwartz, vice president of business development and head of the Automotive and Mobile Device Customer Focus Unit at SpeechWorks. "Speechify Solo complements our Speech2Go embedded recognition software and is supported by SpeechWorks' worldwide professional services team, dedicated to helping automotive and other device manufacturers design and deploy great speech applications."
SpeechWorks provides a full line of market-leading TTS products that deliver significant cost savings in place of expensive studio recordings. SpeechWorks TTS products include ETI-Eloquence™ software for applications requiring less than 2MB of memory; Speechify Solo software for embedded devices that can support memory from 8MB to 12 MB; and Speechify™ software for any network-based application. SpeechWorks also offers Speech2Go™ software, an embedded speech recognition engine. These products complement SpeechWorks' OpenSpeech™ product line, its core product offering for network-based speech recognition.
Pricing and Availability
Speechify Solo software will begin beta testing in June 2002 and will be generally available in August 2002 with language support for German, UK English, Continental French and US English. Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Castilian Spanish and American Spanish languages will be available in Q3 and Q4 2002. Speechify Solo will run on Windows and WinCE operating systems and will be compliant with Microsoft's SAPI 5 standard. For per unit pricing information, please contact your SpeechWorks sales representative.
About SpeechWorks International, Inc. ###
Through the power of SpeechWorks technologies, the human voice is all a person needs to access instant information and conduct transactions from a phone or device. Around the world, customer service innovators such as America Online, OnStar, Thrifty Car Rental and Yahoo! are realizing returns on SpeechWorks applications that consistently delight and serve customers 24 hours a day. With over 170 partners, SpeechWorks (Nasdaq: SPWX) delivers natural language speech recognition, speaker verification and text-to-speech (TTS) solutions to leading corporations, telecommunications providers, device manufacturers and government organizations worldwide. For a description of our products, services and unique customer programs such as SpeechWorks Here S.T.E.P.™ (Speech Technology Evaluation Process) call 617.428.4444 or visit www.speechworks.com.
SpeechWorks, Speechify Solo, Virtuoso V.I.P., Speech2Go, OpenSpeech, ETI-Eloquence, Speechify and SpeechWorks Here S.T.E.P. are trademarks or registered trademarks of SpeechWorks International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.