| IBM Japan, Olympus, Justsystem Create Voice Products
June 30, 1998 (TOKYO) - IBM Japan Ltd., Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. and Justsystem Corp. said they are
jointly developing products using voice recognition technology.
|The three companies are exploring applications of voice recognition technology by combining IBM Japan's
voice recognition software, Olympus's voice-recording hardware and Justsystem's Japanese-language
Each company will release its own product separately in and after July.
IBM Japan will market a Japanese-language version of ViaVoice 98, a new version of software for input and
operation using voice. The new software will be able to learn each user's particular way of vocalizing.
Such a function is not used in the Japanese-language version of ViaVoice Gold, a product currently on the
ViaVoice 98 reportedly will be able to recognize voices more accurately than the current version, and it
will have a reinforced dictionary. Tests show that the new software will recognize more than 90 percent
of voices, IBM officials said.
The speed of recognition for the software is four times faster than that of character input from a
keyboard, or about twice as fast considering corrections of incorrectly recognized words, according to
IBM Japan President Kakutaro Kitashiro.
The product, to be released on July 24, will be priced at 18,000 yen (US$130). Upgrading from the
original version will cost 12,000 yen (US$85).
Olympus will start selling Voice-Trek VT1000RV, a combination of a digital voice recorder and IBM Japan's
voice recognition software, ViaVoice Transcription. The packaged product will be capable of recognizing
recorded voices via a personal computer and converting them into electronic text files.
The product will use a miniature card to record voices. The 2MB accessory card will be capable of
recording voices for 15 minutes in standard mode and for 33 minutes in a longer-hour mode. The main body
of the voice recorder, with batteries, will weigh 150 grams. It will be released on July 4 for 63,000 yen
Justsystem this fall will commercialize Voice ATOK (tentative name), software which will allow users to
input Japanese language using voice recognition technology. The company also will release ConceptBase
Voice Filter (tentative name), software to search the Japanese language from its own database of both
voice and character data. Prices of the two products will be decided later.
Justsystem also announced that Ichitaro Lite, its word-processing software to be released on July 30 for
12,000 yen, will be compatible with IBM Japan's Japanese version of ViaVoice 98.
Justsystem President Kazunori Ukigawa said future applications will need to be compatible with such voice
recognition functions, implying the firm's future strategy for product development.
(BizTech Editorial Dept.)