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18th August 1999

Vocalis SpeechMail allows Freeserve customers to call their emails

Freeserve, the UK's leading free Internet Service Provider, will soon be offering its members a free facility to have their e-mails read to them from any telephone anywhere with simple spoken commands, using technology developed by Vocalis, the Cambridge-based speech recognition telephony company.

The new service uses the Vocalis SpeechMail system, which makes it possible for Freeserve members to have their e-mails read out to them from any telephone, anywhere, by dialling a specified number and entering their account number and PIN. Freeserve's decision to use SpeechMail follows a successful 30 day pilot project in which Freeserve members tested the system.

Vocalis SpeechMail converts the e-mails into speech using text-to-speech technology. Once users have accessed their mailbox Vocalis speech recognition technology is used to allow them to perform various actions through spoken commands, such as playing messages, replying, skipping on to the next message and deleting. To reply to a message users can simply dictate their message over the telephone and this is then sent as an attachment back to the sender of the original message.

John Pluthero, Freeserve chief executive, said: "Once again, Freeserve has taken the lead in offering the most innovative and useful internet-enabled services. Vocalis SpeechMail provides an excellent service which enhances the Freeserve experience, enabling our members to keep in touch with friends and colleagues wherever they are."

The advent of voice access to e-mail is a major advance, as Charles Halle, Chief Executive for Vocalis, explains. "In the last few years e-mail has transformed the way millions of people communicate, but the fact that you have needed to be in front of a computer to send or receive messages has been a major constraint. SpeechMail removes that limitation and opens up a whole new arena for e-mail. Even people who have no desire to use a computer can now benefit from it."

SpeechMail has been designed to be extremely easy to use and offers great flexibility, allowing customers to set a series of options in terms of how the system works. These include what details should be read out, such as the sender's name or message subject, how much of a message to read out before pausing, allowing the user to maintain control.

The service will be available from August 20 1999 to all Freeserve account holders.

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About Vocalis

Vocalis works with organisations to create contact centre solutions that build the organisations business and brands. These solutions can turn your contact centre from a cost to a profit centre by ensuring it builds your brand, helps your business be more competitive, and increases customer loyalty through more effective and efficient service. Vocalis was formed in 1993, is publicly traded on FTSE Stock Market and has been listed since July 1996. Vocalis brings back the reassurance of the most personal human touch in business - putting voice to work.

The Vocalis Website is at

Email: [email protected]

For further Vocalis Group information, contact:

Philippa Buttle
Vocalis Group plc
Chaston House
Mill Court
Gt Shelford
Tel: 01223-846177
Fax: 01223-846178
Email:[email protected]

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Saturday, September 06, 2003
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