Press Release - Spyglass
For Immediate Release
Contact: Amanda Stokes
Spyglass and Lucent Technologies Team up to Demonstrate Voice-controlled Web Browsing
Collaboration Enables Internet Navigation from Any Telephone, Greatly Expanding the Reach of On-line Services
LAS VEGAS - Monday, October 12, 1998 - The feasibility of voice activated Web browsing is being demonstrated at this year's Wireless IT Conference by Internet pioneer Spyglass Inc. (NASDAQ: SPYG) in collaboration with Lucent Technologies.
A concept prototype service being shown enables users to dial a single number and then, through simple voice commands, to navigate through standard Web pages to obtain voice-synthesized sports scores, weather information and stock updates.
The technology could be ideally suited for on-line service providers looking to broaden their customer base by providing telephone-only access to the Internet. For the purpose of the demonstration, the services have been limited to sports, stocks and weather. In commercial implementation, a service provider could use virtually any Web site and deliver any number of services.
The phone browser is made possible by coupling telephony, speech recognition and text-to-speech technology, developed by Lucent's Bell Laboratories, with Spyglass Prism, a server-based content delivery application platform that visits Web sites and selectively extracts and packages content into a format best suited for telephones. For example, most Web pages contain far more information than a simple weather forecast. Headlines, related links, advertisements, and the like may add value when a page is viewed on a PC, but it is too much information to deliver via a telephone. Spyglass Prism will extract only the weather forecast and then deliver that to the Lucent platform for conversion to voice. A schematic of the Lucent/Spyglass phone browser is available at http://www.spyglass.com/images/pepdiagram.gif
According to Spyglass General Manager Randy Littleson, Lucent deserves the lion's share of credit for developing the phone browser architecture.
"We had been experimenting with a voice-based user interface for Spyglass Prism for some time," said Littleson. "But it was only after joining Lucent's Cooperative InnovationsSM program that we had access to the cutting edge telephony, voice recognition and text-to-speech technology that had been developed by the Bell Labs group. In one of our earliest meetings, it became apparent that we could meld our mutual technologies into something potentially much more valuable to the marketplace."
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