Thursday, September 11, 2008

BlackBerry Flip and IBM's Spoken Web

RIM introduced the first BlackBerry Perl Flip 8220 smartphone. The official website for the phone can be found here. Taken from the RIM press release:

"The quad-band EDGE based BlackBerry Pearl Flip smartphone presents a sophisticated look with a sleek design and a chrome-finished frame surrounding its smooth, luminescent face. Packed with an abundance of powerful features, it weighs only 3.6 ounces and measures approximately 3.9” x 1.9” x 0.7”. Featuring two high-resolution, light-sensing color displays, the external LCD makes it easy to preview incoming emails, text messages and phone calls without opening the handset, while the large, 240 x 320 internal LCD displays messages, videos and web pages with impressive detail and contrast.

“The popularity of BlackBerry smartphones has grown tremendously around the world and the introduction of this exciting new flip phone will help extend the reach of the BlackBerry platform even further,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry Pearl Flip is a full-featured smartphone with a unique and friendly design and it is a natural choice for flip phone users who want to start doing more with their phone than just talk.”"

Voice quality is assured through the use of Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD). It includes "support for mp3 ring tones, smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing, call forwarding, voicemail attachment playback and enhanced background noise cancellation. It also features a speakerphone and Bluetooth® 2.0 for use with hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits and other Bluetooth peripherals such as a GPS receiver. The removable/rechargeable 900 mAhr battery provides four hours of talk time and over 14 days of standby time".

IBM is testing a voice-based web browser, developed under the "Spoken Web" project of IBM's India Research Laboratory. Some of the technologies used are Voice eXtensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) and HyperSpeech Transfer Protocol (HSTP). You can read more about it here.

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