Princeton, NJ and Milton Keynes, UK — November 12, 1997 – Voxware, Inc. (Nasdaq: VOXW) and the Open University today announced their agreement to license Voxware speech and audio compression technology for use in developing environments for the Open University’s large-scale, interactive educational events over the Internet. Voxware, Inc. is a premier developer of speech and audio compression/decompression (codec) technologies for Internet Protocol (IP) communications. The UK’s Open University has been a leader in supported distance learning for almost 30 years, and has a current enrollment of some 160,000 students working towards a BA, BSc or postgraduate degree.
[The above paragraph begins a joint press release which appeared on 12th November 1997 at the Voxware Inc. home page ‘What’s New’ section at http://www.voxware.com
The press release begins with the following heading and subheading:
“UK’s Open University Licenses Voxware Technology for Distance Learning Over the Internet”
“Voxware’s voice and audio compression licensed for use in developing worldwide, interactive educational broadcasting environments”
The press release continues as follows:]
The UK’s Open University leads the world in applying new technology to distance learning environments. Through its Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), it is exploring new ways to host voice-intensive events, discussions, tutorials and Webcasts on the Internet. KMi plans to use Voxware codecs and development toolkits to build voice-enabled research prototypes for delivering real-time synchronized audio and multimedia experiences to very large audiences.
“Voxware for us is the Rolls Royce of compression algorithms,” said Professor M. Eisenstadt, director of Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute. “We looked at many technologies, and found that Voxware gives us the best end-to-end performance and subjective ‘quality of experience’ over dial-up modems.”
The Open University is building “remote telepresence” environments in which students and lecturers will be able to interact in real-time. “We envision our experimental environment, called KMi Stadium, as a way to host events of various types, from small chat rooms to enormous Webcasts that may rely on linked servers distributed across several continents,” added Professor Eisenstadt. “We know that the audio channel can carry the lion’s share of ‘presence,’ an important component of effective remote learning and collaboration on the ‘Net. Therefore quality audio over today’s packet-losing, modest-bandwidth infrastructure is crucial.”
Even good compression, according to Professor Eisenstadt, is not sufficient to overcome the poor voice quality usually experienced over today’s Internet. Voxware technology was chosen because it provides a comprehensive solution to quality problems, and because it allows platform independence for the development of the Open University’s prototypes.
The licensing agreement encompasses the Voxware Compression Toolkit (VCT), including RT24 and RT29 MetaVoiceTM speech codecs, AC10 and AC16 MetaSoundTM audio codecs, and Voxware’s proprietary VoiceFont® technology. It also includes the Voxware Conferencing Platform (VCP), a client/server software development kit used for integrating large-scale voice conferencing capabilities into other applications, as well as creating custom interfaces. In addition, the agreement includes the basic version of VoxPhoneTM, a ready-to-use Internet telephony application from Voxware that allows people to speak with other users over the ‘Net.
“The Open University is in the forefront of organizations that are developing innovative ways to enhance distance learning,” said Simon Fox, director of Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) operations for Voxware. “They bring to their educational projects an unparalleled depth of experience and unprecedented global reach. OU courses are available to all residents of the European union, and also reach countries as far-flung as Ethiopia and Russia. Voxware’s technology is an ideal solution for providing high quality voice-based collaboration among geographically dispersed participants.”
More information about the Open University can be obtained on the Internet at http://www.open.ac.uk or by contacting the Press Office, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, telephone: +44 1908 653248, fax: +44 1908 652247.
About Voxware, Inc.
Voxware, Inc., founded in 1993, develops, licenses and supports digital speech and audio products. Voxware’s development toolkits enable hardware and software companies to create a new generation of audio-enhanced products for the Internet and other bandwidth-constrained environments. Its corporate headquarters are in Princeton, New Jersey, with regional offices in Tokyo, Japan and Nr. Oxford, England. Additional information about Voxware, Inc. can be obtained on the Internet at http://www.voxware.com, by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (609) 514-4100 in the US or +44 1235 862120 in the UK.