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Oracle9i Finds Its Voice

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Posted August 2, 2001 By Michael Singer     Feedback

A partnership with eight other companies means Oracle9i Application Server can interface with vocal commands that can be spoken directly into a handset or hands-free device.

Servers are great for data and for applications but you can't talk to them - that is until now.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) Thursday launched what it says is the first application server to offer integrated voice support.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company says its Oracle9i Application Server (Oracle9iAS) Wireless will become the industry's first application server to offer integrated voice support.

It doesn't mean that you will have one of those little tjte-`-tjtes like HAL did with Dave in 2001 - A Space Odyssey, but Oracle does promise that developers can create and deploy applications just once for use with any interface - Web, wireless or voice.

"Earlier approaches to voice technology treated voice as a stand-alone access method," says Denise Lahey, CEO of OracleMobile, the mobile products and services division of Oracle. "However, true value is derived from the ability to access the same information from any access point, be it Web, wireless or voice."

The idea is to get a server that interfaces with vocal commands that can be spoken directly into a handset or hands-free device.

To get to where it wanted to be, Oracle is working with voice technology companies such as General Magic (Nasdaq: GMGC,) Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Nuance (Nasdaq: NUAN), SpeechWorks (Nasdaq: SPWX), Vail Systems, Verascape and VoiceGenie.

The collaboration with the eight companies means the software can take advantage of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Text-to-Speech (TTS) technologies, Voice Gateways and Telephony Platforms, and Voice Hosting.

By making voice a part of the Oracle9i AS, voice development and deployment will now be available to developers familiar with Internet languages like Java, Visual Basic and eXtensible Markup Language (XML).

Oracle says it plans to include the voice support as a key component of other Oracle software and services, including Oracle E-Business Suite, OracleMobile Online Studio and Oracle JDeveloper.

The company also says it is opening a voice technology development center in Chicago dedicated to advancing voice technology and applications in addition to testing and optimizing third-party voice technology for deployment on Oracle software.

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