Tailor Synthesis and Enhance Recognition with LexiconKit

Chant SpeechKit provides an easy way to integrate speech technology with web pages

San Francisco, California, June 28, 1999—SpeechKit for the Web, a solution designed for adding speech recognition and speech synthesis (text-to-speech) capabilities to web pages, was launched today at the Web99 Design and Development conference by Chant Inc., of Marina del Rey, California. The solution includes software based on Chant component software that lets you talk with web sites to fill out forms, query databases, enter transactions, navigate pages, ask questions and get responses without having to use a computer mouse or keyboard.

Web sites are growing at increasing rate as they expand with content and new applications. Speech technology enhances the user's ability to navigate and interact with the site. Whether it's obtaining product information, pricing and availability, booking reservations, placing orders, or playing games, customer satisfaction stems from their ability to easily interact and transact with the site.

"Have you ever wanted to ask a web page a question about where you can find more information about the product you want to purchase or just purchased rather than clicking around on links and hoping you land in the right spot?", said John Earle, president and founder of Chant. "SpeechKit for the Web makes it easy for web page authors who are familiar with JavaScript or VBScript to easily incorporate speech technology to do that."

Chant component software works passively with web pages. For voice-driven pages, the mouse and keyboard can be used in combination with your voice. For systems that do not have speech engines installed or browsers that do not support component technology, there is no impact on ability to use the mouse or keyboard to interact with the web page. Users who have speech technology installed from vendors such as Dragon Systems, IBM, Lernout & Hauspie, and Microsoft, can use this technology to interact with web pages using Chant components. For users who don't have any speech technology installed, Chant provides a free downloadable installation for adding speech engines to support voice-driven and text-to-speech functions.

With Chant component software, web page authors can easily control the use of speech technology on their web pages by simply starting and stopping when appropriate. They have full scripting control of how, when, and where, voice-driven and text-to-speech functions are processed. Optionally, text and image hyperlinks can be invoked by speaking the text or alt= tag text, and you can navigate back and forward through page history using your voice. JavaScript and VBScript can be used to set focus and place text in form fields from recognized speech. Buttons and other controls can be voice-driven. For more complex forms and voice-driven operations, Web page authors, who use Java programming, can take advantage of SpeechKit for Java.

Chant component software reduces the effort required to add speech technology to desktop and webenabled applications. In addition to the time-savings, a lot of complexity is eliminated because the component software handles all the low-level processing with the speech engines and operating system. This eliminates 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, Availability, and Pricing

Chant component software for speech recognition and text-to-speech works with Microsoft SAPI (Version 2 and higher) compliant engines and IBM SMAPI (Version 3 and higher) VoiceType and ViaVoice engines. Chant component software supports Windows 95, 98, and NT platforms. SpeechKit for the Web is available now electronically and will be available through software resellers in July. The retail price is $399 US. SpeechKit for Java is available for $399 US.

For more information about SpeechKit and other Chant services and products, contact Chant Inc., 4712 Admiralty Way, Suite 550 Marina del Rey, California 90292-6998, phone (310) 410-9895, fax (310) 410- 9896, E-mail online@chant.net or visit the Chant World Wide Web site at: https://www.chant.net.

About Chant

Chant Inc. is a leading provider of software and services that helps 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, Talking with Technology, I'm Hooked On Talking With Technology, and Getting the World Talking With Technology are trademarks or registered trademarks of Chant Inc. All other marks are owned by their respective companies.