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Conversay Speech-Enables the First Linux PDA

Conversay, a global leader in speech technology solutions for both mobile and traditional Internet access devices, announced it will provide the speech interface for the Linux-based YOPY® PDA system, making it the first Linux PDA to employ a speech interface. G.Mate, from Seoul, South Korea, and CenterComm of San Diego, Calif., developed the YOPY system.

“Support of Linux was a natural step for Conversay,” said Matt Scheuing, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Conversay. “Based on the number of initiatives we’re encountering, Linux is the new hot platform for handhelds. We are pleased that our next-generation system will be a part of the YOPY — this is a state-of-the-art device and nicely complements the work we’ve done with other platforms, such as Pocket PC.”

Conversay’s speech recognition and text synthesis engine will be incorporated into the device — the world’s first Linux-based PDA — expected for worldwide release in first quarter of 2001. Using spoken commands in natural language, users of speech-enabled YOPY devices can access and use GPS positioning services, through an application developed by CenterComm, aimed primarily for use in automotive environments. It provides location and direction services, along with digital mapping, that will be accessible through spoken command and control. Users will also have access to normal PDA functions, such as Web browsing, e-mail, scheduling, contact lists, games, and other applications.

“We see the speech-enabled YOPY as expanding the popular conception of what a PDA can do,” said Sang-Un Yoo, chief operating officer at G.Mate. “Between Conversay’s speech interface and the CenterComm GPS services for automotive use, the YOPY really does a lot more than the ordinary PDA.”

“Adding the speech interface makes our location services a natural for the automotive environment,” said Kiem Le, president and CEO at CenterComm. “Being able to ask for location and direction, and have them spoken back to you, makes it a completely hands-free system that is ideal for use in the car.”

Beginning with the YOPY, Linux-based devices are expected to grow to nine percent of the handheld device market by 2003, according to analyst group ResearchPortal.com. The CenterComm application means this version of the YOPY will not only be a consumer product, but has market potential with auto manufacturers and after-market auto manufacturers, as well as corporate users.

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