Cellnet plans E-mail service for mobiles

Cellnet plans E-mail service for mobiles
Richard Ball Mobile phone users will soon be able to dictate E-mails, faxes and important documents using a service under test by Cellnet. The mobile phone operator’s service is expected to start this summer using technology from UK speech recognition specialist Speech Machines. “We guarantee a 100 per cent correct document,” said Henry Hyde-Thomson, chairman and chief technical officer of Speech Machines. Users call up the service, quote a user number and dictate their message. This is delivered by E-mail or fax within three hours. Brian Greasley, Cellnet’s head of new product development, said: “The feedback from our triallists is very encouraging.” The original technology comes from the speech research unit at the Defence Research and Evaluation Agency in Great Malvern. “They have been working on speech recognition technology for defence purposes. It uses a well understood technique called hidden Markov modelling. We worked with them to build commercial products,” said Hyde-Thomson. The system adapts to individual users by maintaining a file for each subscriber. “This is a mathematical model of the way you pronounce your words,” explained Hyde-Thomson. The system requires 15 minutes to adapt to a new user. “We typically get a 90 to 95 per cent accuracy once adapted to the user,” he said. This becomes word perfect with the help of a human proof reader. The technology is sufficiently good to work in the noisy environment. When conditions deteriorate, for example when travelling in a car or on a train, the system will stop the user to avoid wasting expensive phone time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*