Handhelds to get a talking to by Bell and VoiceGenie

While keying in a URL is no sweat on your desktop PC, on a mobile device with its miniature screen and even smaller buttons, it can be a frustrating chore. Teaming their efforts, Bell Mobility and VoiceGenie Technologies Inc. have decided to do something about the situation to make mobile communication easier for subscribers.

On Thursday, the two Toronto-based companies announced an $800,000 research and development funding partnership that will extend VoiceGenie’s existing speech recognition platform into a multi-modal platform in order to grant users access to information, graphical elements and streaming video from their wireless devices using voice commands.

According to the companies, handheld subscribers will be able to switch back and forth between different methods of interaction with their devices, including visual to voice to touch, meaning users are able, for example, to speak into wireless devices to view different Web sites and dictate responses to corporate e-mail.

The companies are depending on the multi-modal platform development to act as a strong differentiator among wireless competitors, according to VoiceGenie. Once complete, the platform is expected to support meaningful applications over Bell Mobility’s 1xRTT, CDMA-based 3G wireless network.

For further information, visit the companies online at www.bell.ca, and www.voicegenie.com.

Also on Thursday, Bell Mobility announced it has begun its sixth national call for proposals aimed at developing partnerships with some of Canada’s top wireless innovators. Submissions are due on or before March 31, 2003. Details can be found at www.bell.ca/accelerator.