< GMGC > News! Big! Tuesday May 4, 9:02 am Eastern Time|
Company Press Release
SOURCE: BellSouth Mobility, Inc
BellSouth Mobility Offers Voice-Activated Personal
Assistant Service in Atlanta
BellSouth Enters into Exclusive Agreement with General Magic for
its Portico(TM) Service
ATLANTA, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Mobility, Inc (BMI) customers can now enjoy the benefits of a helpful personal assistant
who works around the clock and goes wherever they go, managing calls, messages and other information. The company announced today
that it will provide a voice recognition-based virtual ''personal assistant'' service during a 3-4 month initial customer deployment. Several
hundred current BMI customers will be involved in the first phase, which will take place in Atlanta and surrounding areas.
A voice recognition interface is a computer-based technology designed to match the comfortable experience of human conversation. The
technology recognizes and acts on spoken commands from the user, and responds in its own spoken voice. Because Portico is a ''speaker
independent'' technology, the customer does not need to train the service to recognize his or her voice. The Portico service recognizes more
than 1 million phrases and can answer with nearly 5,000 responses.
The initial deployment will be conducted in cooperation with General Magic, Inc. and be based on General Magic's Portico(TM) virtual
assistant service and magicTalk(TM) voice user interface platform.
''We are constantly working to lead the wireless industry by introducing state-of-the-art enhanced services to our customers,'' said Mark
Feidler, president of BellSouth Mobility. ''This sort of personal assistant service offers a lot of promise for high-usage, highly mobile
wireless subscribers who always need to be in touch with the information that is important to them. We look forward to working with
General Magic on the technical results and gaining customer feedback from this initial deployment.''
Following the initial deployment in Atlanta, BellSouth Mobility will evaluate the service and will announce future implementation plans in its
other markets. BellSouth Mobility will have exclusive rights to the General Magic Portico service for one year in its markets.
''We believe the delivery of enhanced voice services like Portico allows our partners to be more responsive to the needs of their customers
and to differentiate themselves in the marketplace,'' said Steve Markman, chairman, chief executive officer and president of General Magic,
Inc. (Nasdaq: GMGC - news). ''We are very pleased to be teaming with BellSouth Mobility on this initial deployment, which will offer
wireless subscribers a great productivity tool to help manage their busy lives.''
The personal assistant service offers BellSouth Mobility customers a variety of features that manage and simplify communications, including:
* Voice dialing -- Place calls by simply speaking the digits of the phone
number, or by speaking the name of the person you are calling if they
are listed in your personal phone book.
* Incoming call management -- The personal assistant service greets
callers with a spoken message; announces incoming calls; and gives you
the option to take the call or have the personal assistant take a
* Personal organizer -- Manage your phone book list or schedule
appointments over the phone or via a web browser. Your personal
assistant can remember your important contacts, including more than one
number for each contact. If you use a personal information manager,
such as Microsoft Outlook or the PalmPilot, you can synchronize with
the personal assistant over the web.
* Public information access -- Stay plugged into news and stock activity
with customized information. The personal assistant will even notify
you if the price of your favorite stock changes throughout the day.
* Unified messaging -- Integrate and manage voice mail, e-mail, contacts,
calendar and fax with help from the personal assistant. The service
can deliver e-mail to any phone and read it to you using text-to-speech
technology. If you are expecting an important e-mail, just tell your
personal assistant to notify you when it arrives. You can also
instruct the service to "Fax it to me" and give the number where you
are. If you wish to forward e-mail to one of your contacts by fax, the
service already knows the fax number -- all you need to say is the
The service will cost $29.95 per month for unlimited usage. To learn more about BellSouth Mobility, visit bellsouthmobility.com
. Initially, the service will be offered to a limited number of subscribers, but those interested can call (404) 303-5000 for information.
BellSouth Cellular Corp. companies, BellSouth Mobility (BMI) and American Cellular Communications Corporation (ACC), provide
wireless communications services to more than 5.6 million customers in 13 states. BMI operates with its partners in eight Southeastern
states. ACC markets operate under a variety of names in California, Texas, and Virginia, and as Cellular One in Indiana.
General Magic offers integrated voice-enabled services that make communication and access to information easy and convenient. The
company's development efforts are founded on its patented agent technology and innovative user interface to provide simple, yet effective
ways for people to keep in touch with the information they need to be successful. For more information on General Magic, please visit the
company's Web site at generalmagic.com .
SOURCE: BellSouth Mobility, Inc