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 NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- People will be talking to their telephones later this Month when Bell Atlantic's New Jersey Bell subsidiary begins a "voice recognition" trial in hundreds of New Jersey homes.
 Instead of pressing three keys to activate calling features, customers will tell their phones what to do when using the Bell Atlantic(R) IQ(R) Services Return Call, Repeat Call, Call Trace, Tone Block and Speed Dialing.
 Customers will substitute words for dialing as they command their phones to "Call mom," "Return call" or "Repeat call."
 The translation of speech into language that the telecommunications network understands will be accomplished with special computer hardware and software in New Jersey Bell's central switching office. Texas Instruments will provide the voice recognition system used in the trial, as well as additional technical support.
 Scheduled for mid-December through about March (1994) at about 300 homes in Irvington, N.J., the trial follows tests last year in the Irvington homes of 70 New Jersey Bell employees. Tests also were done at the offices of 50 Bell Atlantic employees in Arlington, Va.
 The employees and their families who used voice recognition last year reported that voice dialing made it easier to use services such as Return Call and Call Forwarding. It also made it easier to call at night and helped when people were busy. Also, separate research indicated that physically disabled persons would use voice-activated services.
 A primary goal of the New Jersey trial is to determine how well the voice recognition technology works and how easy it is for customers to use. If the trial is successful, as anticipated, Bell Atlantic has tentative plans to make voice recognition available later next year at about 350,000 homes in the Virginia area.
 The large-scale introduction of voice recognition will be hastened as New Jersey Bell introduces "advanced intelligent network" (AIN) capabilities in its network. AIN software will enable New Jersey Bell to more quickly introduce new services, such as voice recognition, without the need for changes in switching hardware. AIN is part of the company's "Opportunity New Jersey" plan to accelerate the introduction of digital capabilities in its statewide network.
 "The trial will help us determine how effectively the voice recognition technology can be deployed and how well we can meet customers' needs by enabling them to activate services with their voices," said Robert Duerr, Bell Atlantic product manager-speech recognition. "Later, we will concentrate on other issues geared toward delivering a quality voice recognition capability to larger numbers of customers."
 "Industry leaders are showing tremendous interest in consumer-oriented voice dialing services, as the technology has reached the point of clearly adding value to basic telephone services," said Peggy Hart, product marketing manager of Texas Instruments' Telecom Systems Strategic Business Unit.
 "Voice recognition is rapidly gaining acceptance, which will help it grow as a product that telephone companies can successfully introduce in the next few years," Hart added.
 With more than two decades of speech research and development, Texas Instruments has advanced speech technology to deliver new voice services over telecommunications networks. Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) headquartered in Dallas, is a high-technology company with sales or manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. Texas Instruments' products and services include semiconductors; defense electronics systems; software productivity tools; printers; notebook computers and consumer electronics products; telecommunications systems; custom engineering and manufacturing services; electrical controls; and metallurgical materials.
 Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL), based in Philadelphia, is the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone (Delaware) and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., companies that provide a full array of local exchange telecommunications services in the mid-Atlantic region.
 Bell Atlantic also is the parent of one of the nation's largest cellular carriers and of companies that provide software, systems integration, hardware and software service and support and financial services throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, Bell Atlantic International offers network services and consulting to telephone authorities throughout the world and owns an interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
 -0- 12/2/93
 /CONTACT: James W. Carrigan of Bell Atlantic, 201-649-2279, or Peggy Hart of Texas Instruments, 512-250-6437/

CO: Bell Atlantic Corporation; Texas Instruments Incorporated ST: New Jersey, Texas IN: TLS SU: PDT

SH-TW -- NY020 -- 9679 12/02/93 09:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 2, 1993

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