Chant Updates SpeechKit 4.0 for the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1

Chant components utilize the power of the Microsoft .NET Framework to create software that speaks and responds to voice

San Francisco, California, April 24, 2003—Chant Inc., a leading independent vendor of speech technology tools, announced today availability of SpeechKit 4.0 for the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1, a new version of its industry leading component software that enables Web sites and applications to speak and respond to voice.

The components, known as SpeechKit, allow for rapidly adding speech recognition and speech synthesis (text-to-speech) capabilities to software programs and Web pages. This allows the user to talk with software programs and Web sites to fill out forms, query databases, enter transactions, navigate pages, ask questions and get responses without having to use a mouse or keyboard.

"SpeechKit 4 makes it even easier to get systems talking," said John Earle, president and founder of Chant Inc. "This gives the Microsoft .NET Framework developer in Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Basic .NET a fast path for developing .NET Framework-based applications that speak and listen."

"SpeechKit provides a valuable solution," said Richard Burte, product manager for the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft is excited to be working with Chant to offer customers an easy-to-use solution to enhance development with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework 1.1."

SpeechKit components are built upon Microsoft's Speech API (SAPI), IBM Speech Manager API (SMAPI), and Dragon COM objects. Users who have speech technology installed from vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, and ScanSoft, can use this technology to interact with applications and Web pages through SpeechKit. For users who do not have any speech technology installed, Chant provides recognizers and synthesizers to support voice-driven and text-to-speech functions.

SpeechKit components handle all the low-level processing with the speech engines and operating system, thus eliminating the need for in-depth understanding of how speech technology works and the need to intertwine this low-level code within the application business logic.

System Requirements

SpeechKit components can be integrated into applications written in any programming language including: ActionScript (Macromedia Flash), C/C++, Microsoft Visual C# .NET, Delphi, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, HTML (JavaScript and VBScript), Java, Lingo (Macromedia Director), PowerBuilder, and Microsoft Visual Basic for Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows NT, and Windows 2000 environments. Recognizers and synthesizers require sound blaster compatible audio and Pentium class processors.

About Chant

Chant Inc. is a leading provider of software and services that help organizations gain competitive advantage with speech technology. Chant helps organizations identify and implement the most attractive opportunities appropriate their company and industry. Chant is the first company to provide engine-independent middleware for developing desktop, web-enabled, and telephony applications that use speech technology.

Chant, SpeechKit, and Getting the World Talking With Technology are trademarks or registered trademarks of Chant Inc. All other marks are owned by their respective companies.