491 — Special CeBIT 2003: European products insight – Part I

Feb 11, 2003 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

Automated call centres, CTI & ERP solutions, self-updatable dictionaries and ‘intelligent’ data specs will be some European products at exhibit in CeBIT 2003, organised by Deutsche Messe AG in Hannover, Germany from 12 – 19 Mar. The organisation foresees an attendance of more than 7,000 businesses, from 59 different countries, exhibiting in an area over 380,000 sq. metres.

Automated call centres – Sympalog Speech Technologies AG (Germany), Hall 11, Stand B40

Sympalog, a business specialising in speech technology is to announce a new technology for automated call centres, working 24 hours a day, allowing customers to order products through an intelligent IVR system.

This new generation of speech computers, according to the company “almost human”, will allow customers to speak at their normal pace without having to grapple with big menus of predefined options. When the customer says “I’d like to order ten of article X in green”, the system will prompt immediately with a confirmation message.

To further enhance the shopping experience, Sympalog has also developed a demonstrator that allows customers to sample music. If the customer says “I’d like to hear something by Jennifer Lopez”, the system responds by listing the available CDs and asking him to pick one.

When the customer has made his selection, the demonstrator then plays 30-second clips from all the tracks. The customer can interrupt at any time and operate the virtual CD player with simple voice commands: “Next!”, “Track 5” or “I’d like to hear a soundtrack now”.

CTI and ERP solutions – Abas (Germany), Hall 5, Stand A18

Abas together with the Abas Partners will present new additions in business software (ERP, PPC, MRP, e-business) and CTI (Computer Telephone Integration). CTI makes it possible for computers to process in- and outgoing calls. For example, an incoming call can automatically show information about the call. All of the relevant details of the call are available before answering.

Abas eB, the eBusiness components of Abas Business Software were expanded in order to implement various tools and to support the software. Abas ERP data can be displayed in the web using the ERP Web Interface (EWI).

In practice the EWI system is installed as an information system for customers. If an authenticated customer asks about an order or a packing slip the information is found and displayed in EWI using their Abas ERP customer id. The status of a delivery can also be requested on the EWI at any time. The customer can then test if the item with the desired standardisation is available.

Processing of XML – Infonyte GmbH (Germany), Hall 11, Stand A24

Infonyte, a provider of database software for the universal XML (extensible markup language) standard, has announced a new database programme packed with revolutionary technical features. According to the manufacturer, Infonyte-DB is the only commercial XML database software in the world to be written entirely in the Java programming language.

It is also the only software of its type capable of saving and storing huge XML files up to one terabyte in size. And it can handle data transmission speeds of up to 20 megabytes a second on a standard PC.

Despite its massive capacity the software is a dwarf in terms of its system requirements: for the first time the developers have succeeded in developing an XML database software that can manage on the limited resources of a pocket PC. All that is needed is a handheld with a 32 MB main memory and the ability to process Personal Java.

Worldwide enterprise information solutionsCommunity4you GmbH (Germany), Hall 7, Stand A 45

For the entrepreneurs who envisage a scenario where all the employees and customers of their firm receive the exact information they need in their own language irrespective of where they are, Community4you provides company information for both in-house employees and oversees agents.

If, for example, an item of information in the data pool is amended in Chinese, these changes are instantly made available to all applications in all the other languages used.

At present the information is still translated manually, given that the system has to meet high quality standards. But all the data can be managed at a single location. Users can adapt the software developed by Community4you to suit their own personal needs. This is possible because the source code – i.e. the language in which the open system is written – is free.

Self-updatable dictionary – CLT Sprachtechnologie GmbH (Germany), Hall 11, Stand A25

Rapid advances in technology have left their mark on the language, and what was once obscure technical jargon is now part of our everyday speech. So in order to stay in touch with the times, dictionaries need to be revised at regular intervals.

With the new computer-based language documentation system known as WAHRIG Textkorpus digital, CLT Sprachtechnologie makes the selection of new words more or less automatic. The system gathers its source material from newspapers and magazines published in the German-speaking world. Using computer-based linguistic tools and processes it sifts and analyses the texts, the new words and their range of meanings. Of the 500 million text words and forms recorded to date, four and a half million are not found in any standard dictionary.

The system subjects these terms to syntactical analysis in order to determine whether they are articles, adjectives or verbs, and identifies the root forms. A variety of filtering techniques are used to weed out unwanted material such as proper names or incorrect spellings. The remaining words are then sorted according to their frequency and patterns of occurrence. The most common neologisms are then automatically included in the next edition of the dictionary.

More control for internet users – Fraunhofer SIT (Germany), Hall 11, Stand A24

Everyone who surfs the Internet leaves behind a trail of electronic “footprints”. Mobile internet users lend themselves to the construction of even more comprehensive user profiles by the detailed information they provide about their changing location.

The Institute for Secure Telecooperation (SIT), developed a multilaterally secure platform know as ‘MOBILE’ , giving the user more control over his or her personal profile, and at the same allows providers of mobile services to tailor their services to individual requirements without additional expenditure.

In terms of putting the user in control, a web-based assistant helps to manage and safeguard that user’s personal profile. The assistant suggests suitable mobile services that relate to a given context, and only passes on the requisite personal data if the user so desires. MOBILE ’s functionality is not hardware-specific and can be accessed via a secure link from a web browser.

From the service provider’s perspective the new platform guarantees the integrity and authenticity of place-, time- and context-dependent mobile services. Electronically signed and certified services also allow online payments to be made securely – and, if so desired, anonymously.

‘Intelligent Glasses’ – Fraunhofer IGD (Germany), Hall 11, Stand A24

What’s the use of a thick, lavishly illustrated manual – for the new printer, say – when the tangle of switches, rollers, buttons and wires inside seems to bear no relation to the pictures on the page? The answer is “not a lot”. But in future the technician will not be on his own when dealing with complex equipment of this kind. Fraunhofer IGD announced recently a pair of the new “data spectacles” to be exhibited at CeBIT.

With the spectacles in place the technician sees the information he needs displayed, before his eyes. The data spectacles are semi-transparent, so he can see the machine at the same time. Meanwhile the attached mini- computer supplies him with precise step-by-step instructions using animation technology. The technician has both hands free and the instructions he receives are automatically matched to the particular step in the sequence of operations he is performing.

These intelligent spectacles have been made possible by the newly developed IGD graphic data-processing technology. A camera attached to the spectacles or to the user’s laptop PC picks up a series of markers located on the machine itself, and from these it is able to plot the current camera position and orientation. This information is then projected directly onto the spectacles via a so-called laser retinal display.

Known as “augmented reality” (AR), this technology has also been integrated into an AR browser – a non-platform-specific system for virtual applications that offers special AR functions. It can also be incorporated into an Internet browser as a plug-in, so that it can be attached into a company’s existing diagnostic tools and web infrastructures. The web-based model also makes it possible to link almost any service or information system to the AR system.

Filipe Samora

Em Foco – Projecto