Speech-recognition wireless service offers traffic updates

GTE Telecommunications Services; (Tampa, FL; www.tsi.gte.com) and Voice Access Technologies (San Jose, CA; www.voice-access.com) have announced a nine-city launch of location-specific

GTE Telecommunications Services; (Tampa, FL; www.tsi.gte.com) and Voice Access Technologies (San Jose, CA; www.voice-access.com) have announced a nine-city launch of location-specific voice Internet access for wireless carriers, starting in San Francisco and continuing throughout the summer to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

One of the first services will let wireless subscribers verbally request traffic reports for a specific location, ask for a nearby business listing, and then listen to an audio response culled from the Web. The voice Internet access services are designed to be easy to use and highway safe, replacing the need for button-pushing or text-based messages.

"All of our research indicates that accurate traffic updates are the clear number one priority applications for wireless customers," says Mark Plakias, director for voice and wireless commerce at The Kelsey Group. "This is information a significant number of wireless users will pay for."

The technology utilizes wireless E911 location-finding and content from Voice Access and other partners. It uses speech recognition, considered to be more sensitive than voice recognition that must be "trained" to respond to a particular voice.

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