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A Digital Sound Connection To Your PC... Plantronics

Techstination feature for Tuesday, December 26, 2000

Here comes 2001. Are you talking to your PC yet? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. We've got a pretty long way to go before Arthur C. Clarke's vision of computer speech technology in the movie 2001 becomes a reality. Slowly but surely, the software is getting there. Play around with the latest version of IBM's ViaVoice. Plantronics... a company known for decades for its high quality telephone headsets... has been working on another piece of the puzzle. Neil Snyder heads the computer audio systems division...

"The industry is trying to figure out how voice plays an important role in PC computing. We have a GUI, a graphical user interface, and now we have the emergence of a VUI, a voice user interface. We believe that it will be used in combination with a graphical user interface. So you'll use some speech, some voice for command and control and for voice navigation and for voice interactivity."

For it all to work, the computer has to understand what you are saying. And that's where the high quality headsets from Plantronics come in. The latest products plug into the digital USB ports of PCs and Macs instead of the analog sound jacks...

"And we offer a very fancy term called parametric equalization which means we have the opportunity to digitally enhance both the quality of the sound coming through the speakers and the quality of the voice coming out of the microphone."

Great for speech applications, as well as games and music. Prices start at about 90 dollars. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.