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Voice is the way to go speak your search queries

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SEARCH WITH SPEECH: V-Enable's Voice Search product allows mobile phone users to speak their search queries... and receive a text response (graphic adapted from company documentation)
SEARCH WITH SPEECH: V-Enable's Voice Search product allows mobile phone users to speak their search queries... and receive a text response (graphic adapted from company documentation)

Anand Parthasarathy

`Desi' engineers unveil world's fastest mobile speech search tool

Bangalore: Typing in, then refining, a search query may be easy when you are using a desktop or laptop computer. Pushing the keys on a mobile phone to make the same search can be a pain.

Now a U.S.-based company founded and fuelled by Indian ingenuity has created solutions that allow cell phone users to speak their questions and search a variety of data bases including Yellow Pages or telephone directories.

On Monday, San Diego (California)-based V-Enable's speech-enabled search product will reach over 11 million new customers of the U.S.-based telecom provider Alltel. The company which has a product development and support operation in Delhi, already numbers service providers in Sweden and Finland among its customers and is in advanced discussion with leading North American phone companies Verizon and Sprint.

They are already partners with communication players like Qualcomm, Siemens, Kyocera and Nuance.

The company's founder Chief Technology Officer, Dipanshu Sharma, its Vice-President for Technology Solutions, Sunil Kumar and the head of its India operations, Sameer Sondhi are all `old boys' of the Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalaya ( formerly University of Indore), who went to the U.S. for advanced engineering studies but joined hands to create V-Enable in 2001. In June Mr. Sharma, Mr. Sondhi and V-Enable's Chief Architect Chandra Kholia were granted the industry's first U.S. patent for developing and creating a multi-mode, voice-enabled, user interface for mobile devices... a document with 45 separate claims to originality.

Voice is the way to go for value-added mobile search services, say industry watchers and likely to be a $ 11 billion business by 2008.

By doing it faster (typically in less than a second) and more accurately than others, V-Enable hopes to attract a good chunk of this opportunity that leverages one basic of life: we find it so much simpler to speak out a question rather than writing it down.

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