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BEVOCAL LAUNCHES VOICE-ENABLED APPLICATIONS NATIONWIDE.

BeVocal, Inc., the first consumer V-services company, has been publicly launched to provide consumers with a broad range of voice-enabled applications via a single, toll-free phone number accessible through any phone, anywhere.

Founded in March 1999, BeVocal has received first-round financing from prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives, and boasts a top caliber management and advisory team.

With wireless phone usage exploding and telecommunications costs dropping dramatically, there is an unprecedented market opportunity for mobile speech-recognition services. Because 50% of US consumers are still not online and Internet access is often unavailable or inconvenient for the remainder, BeVocal's V-services will solve everyday problems for consumers without requiring any training, changes in behavior or lifestyle, or the purchase of additional devices or software.

Bill Meisel, president of TMA Associates and editor of Speech Recognition Update, stated, "The telephony voice user interface is opening a number of opportunities and the chance to be the premier, voice-enabled destination for consumers is one of the most exciting. BeVocal has done its homework in identifying what consumers want and has focused on meeting those core needs."

BeVocal aims to become the most broadly-used consumer destination for voice-enabled content, commerce, customer service, and communications. Through the use of speech-recognition technology, BeVocal provides consumers with quick, accurate, and intuitive access to the broadest variety of personalized information and services via a single, toll-free number. Consumers will activate BeVocal's voice-enabled services by using their voice, with the option of receiving information back via voice, WAP, fax, text pager, email, and other forms of output. The company's services include location-relevant applications, such as driving directions and traffic reports, a key component of this roll-out.

Ric Alvarez, the vice president of marketing at BeVocal, stated, "We're out to create the ultimate consumer experience, bringing the power of the Internet to any phone. By combining a deep understanding of consumer needs with innovative technology, BeVocal will create a service that will have an impact on millions of consumers nationwide."

In addition to meeting specific consumer needs, BeVocal provides a compelling way for Web and brick-and-mortar companies to reduce customer acquisition and retention costs, and make their products, services and Internet content available to all consumers, both online and offline. Companies with existing voice links or call centers can integrate their services into BeVocal's offering. BeVocal will also build, host and manage speech applications, providing companies with a cost-effective way to reach new and existing consumers via the phone.

BeVocal's patent-pending VocalBoost technology enables callers to access personalized information and services, simply by speaking. VocalBoost incorporates technology from Nuance, a provider of speech recognition and voice authentication software, and includes a proprietary voice-user interface design, natural language algorithms, and an open, scalable network architecture. By leveraging VocalBoost, BeVocal will be able to help companies quickly introduce new V-services.

Ron Croen, president and CEO of Nuance, stated, "BeVocal's voice-driven applications are very compelling and provide consumers with much-needed services. The company has done an outstanding job of pulling together exceptional engineering talent and technology, and we're excited to be a part of their innovative solution."

BeVocal's management team has extensive experience in consumer branding, speech applications development, IP telephony network design, and telecom systems integration. The company's core technical team includes experienced software developers and networking engineers from Cisco Systems, IBM, Conexant, Matsushita, and Progress Software. BeVocal's investors and advisors include a select group of Silicon Valley executives and entrepreneurs with experience in consumer Internet services, enhanced telecommunications services, wireless systems, networking equipment, IP telephony, and Web-based software.

About BeVocal, Inc.

Based in Mountain View, California, BeVocal, Inc., is the first consumer V-services company that aims to provide consumers with a wide range of voice-enabled applications, such as real-time traffic reports and point-to-point driving directions, via a single, toll-free number accessible through any phone, anywhere. BeVocal's services will enable content, commerce, communications, and customer service so that millions of consumers can quickly, accurately, and intuitively access personalized information and services, simply by speaking. Founded in March 1999, BeVocal has developed its own patent-pending voice user interface, natural language algorithms, and network architecture. The company is privately held.

For more information, call 650/210-8159.
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Title Annotation:Company Business and Marketing
Publication:Audiotex Update
Date:Mar 1, 2000
Words:690
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