Vlingo Honored for Ground-breaking Approach to Speech Recognition for the Mobile Market
CAMBRIDGE, MA (April 16, 2008) – Vlingo Corporation (www.vlingo.com) today announced that it has been selected as one of 10 FiReStarters at the upcoming Future in Review 2008 Conference (www.futureinreview.com), May 20-23 at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA. Vlingo was selected by strategic investment members of the Strategic News Service® who sought out the ten emerging technology companies that they believe will “change the world in a positive way.”
According to the Future in Review Conference organizers, the 10 FiReStarters for 2008 embody world-changing new businesses and technologies that are on the cusp of making large scale improvements in the world. The FiRe conference aims to expose participants to new ideas in a manner that produces an accurate portrait of the future in technology, including nanotechnology, space travel, biology and medical diagnostics, policy, and other fields that contribute to technology outcomes.
Vlingo was selected because of its ground-breaking approach to speech recognition for the mobile market. Launched as part of Yahoo! OneSearchTM earlier this month, vlingo is the first and only open and unconstrained speech recognition technology for the mobile industry. Vlingo products allow consumers to simply speak into any mobile application and have their speech converted into text on the mobile device. They can launch applications and complete text fields such as Web search or messaging by simply speaking into their phones. Vlingo makes this easy because users do not have to memorize a limited set of commands or structure input in particular ways. The vlingo technology is based on core speech recognition technology from IBM, which supports vlingo’s goals of creating and scaling across large numbers of users and applications.
“We’re honored to receive this recognition. Vlingo’s approach is unique because it solves the last two barriers to mobile data adoption – discoverability and usability,” said Dave Grannan, CEO of vlingo. “We designed our technology specifically for the mobile market and made it incredibly scalable by working on top of the IBM speech platform. The result is a fast, scalable and easy-to-use service that opens up new revenue streams for carriers and gives consumers unlimited and unconstrained options on their mobile devices.”
To support the needs of the mobile market, vlingo created an advanced set of technologies called Adaptive Hierarchical Language Models (A-HLMs). These provide an open interface unconstrained to particular applications. Vlingo deploys its technology as a network service, which adapts a complex set of statistical models based on usage – including adapting to the details of how users sound, how they pronounce words, and what they say into particular applications on their mobile phones. This new approach lets application developers and carriers deploy a wide range of applications without having to construct the applications around the constraints of a limited speech recognition solution.
While this new approach greatly simplifies speech interfaces for both end users and application developers, it places a new set of technology requirements on the core speech recognition engine. Based on an analysis of accuracy, scalability, and adaptability, vlingo selected IBM as the core speech recognition technology for its service.
“Many of the speech technology innovations today are based on collaborations across companies and industries, and much of this innovation originates in the labs of IBM,” said David Nahamoo, chief technology officer for speech technology, IBM Research. “Through collaborations with our partners, speech technology has become ubiquitous and is transforming the way we work and access information – by making it available, literally, for the asking.”
Recognition as a FiReStarter builds vlingo’s rapidly accelerating momentum in 2008. Since the start of the year, vlingo secured its series B financing of $20 million, which was led by Yahoo!. Additionally, IDC named vlingo one of the “Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008” and AlwaysOn named vlingo a 2008 100 Top Private Company Award Winner.
Vlingo is a voice-powered user interface that unlocks access to mobile phone wireless data services. Vlingo allows users to speak or type into any vlingo-enabled text box and get accurate, easy and consistent access to all the information, entertainment and communication made possible through today’s mobile applications. By giving consumers control of the mobile Internet with the power of their voices, vlingo provides a quantum leap in usability for mobile data services that are currently restricted by limited user interfaces. IDC has named vlingo one of the “Ten Emerging Mobile Players to Watch in 2008” and AlwaysOn named vlingo a 2008 100 Top Private Company Award Winner. The company secured its venture capital financing from Charles River Ventures, Sigma Partners and Yahoo!. Founded in 2006, vlingo is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Why tap when you can talk? www.vlingo.com.