Tiny software development outfit Symbic is hoping to take on the might of Lernout Hauspie, Voxware and Lucent with the release of a voice compression product, Voicejam that allows 100:1 audio compression over the internet. While audio in games is currently compressed at a ratio of about 10:1 demand for high compression alternatives is hotting up. Working out of a bedroom in his Silicon Valley home, John Obershelp, president of Symbic, reckons he can take on the bigger voice compression specialists by concentrating on quality and keeping costs down. Games company Multitude is already testing Voicejam and a September meeting with Electronic Arts is in the pipeline. The product re-produces high-quality audio while using very low bandwidth and processing power. Have you ever been in a room where several people are playing against each other, say over a LAN? They yell, scream and taunt. Voicejam allows game developers to create that excitement over the Net, said Obershelp. Other possible applications for Voicejam are new digital dictaphones which are being designed to sit in your pocket and record meetings you are in throughout the day. Voicejam, claims Obershelp, would not eat up tons of memory and would be a perfect enabling technology for this kind of voice-based application.
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