Next-Gen ArialPhone Adds IBM ViaVoice

Greg Scoblete On Dec 17 2001 - 8:00am

ArialPhone will replace its voice-recognition software with IBM's ViaVoice voice recognition technology in the next release of its ArialPhone, due in the first quarter of next year.

ArialPhone is a $399-suggested-retail SoHo product whose cordless earset lets users voice-dial phone numbers stored in a connected PC's contact list.

Besides improving voice-dialing accuracy, said product development VP Mike Wagener, ViaVoice will also let users running ViaVoice PC/Mac software to use the ArialPhone as a wireless microphone for dictation.

The two companies are currently discussing a bundle agreement wherein ArialPhone will package IBM's desktop software with its product, but no deals have been reached yet.

A ViaVoice software driver will be made available to owners of the older generation ArialPhone if they wish to upgrade. Price of the upgrade and the next generation ArialPhone have not yet been determined, said Wagener.

ArialPhone works like this:

A 900MHz digital spread spectrum cordless earset communicates to a cordless base station, which plugs into a PC's USB port and into a phone jack. Once the PC is on and running the supplied ArialPhone software, consumers can use the headset to make calls via voice command.

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