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  1. Technology
March 3, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Radish Communications Systems Inc has announced the availability of its VoiceView protocol, which is designed to enable speech and data traffic to be sent over the same telephone line connection, and has gathered support from a wide variety of big-name vendors. The Boulder, Colorado-based company has won endorsements from, among others, Dialogic Corp, Digicom Systems Inc, Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc, Intel Corp, Microsoft Corp, Octel Communications Corp, Rockwell International Inc and US Robotics Inc. The protocol, which can be added to signal processor-based speech hardware as a firmware upgrade, allows users to switch between speech and high-speed data during one telephone call: applications being touted include banking-by-phone, audio-graphic voice response, and single call voice-facsimile-data messaging. One company, Karat Communications Services Inc, also based in Boulder, has already introduced VoiceView as an enhancement to its facsimile broadcast service. One of the keys to the technology’s adoption is the fact that it does not use speech compression, making it compatible with existing digital PABXs and Automatic Call Distributors, as well as analogue or digital telephones. For short data messages, VoiceView uses a Data Mode, which the company claims can transmit a 2,000-character message in under three seconds, while for longer messages the technology uses existing modem and facsimile standards. VoiceView is also said to include a Capabilities Query feature, so that enabled devices can assess whether the equipment at the other end of the call is equipped with the technology. Hayes, Intel, US Robotics and Digicom say they are working to integrate the protocol within their modems, while Rockwell plans to include it in future modem chip sets. Dialogic and Octel are planning to offer VoiceView-capable speech processing systems and components. For its part, Microsoft plans to start distributing information about the technology to the Microsoft Developers Network, and sees applications within both Windows and the Microsoft At Work initiative. In order to encourage take-up, Radish is making the protocol available for a small, one-time fee, and has also introduced a VoiceView C code Module to speed the technology’s deployment.

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