Hands-free surfing, anybody?

New interactive language technology lets surfers talk with their PCs and navigate the Web using natural speech.

US technology firm One Voice Technologies on Monday announced an intelligent interactive language technology that enables users to talk with their PCs and navigate the Web using natural speech.

One Voice's Intelligent Voice Interactive Technology understands advanced linguistic concepts such as topic, subject and synonym, so users aren't restricted to predefined words and phrases. IVIT speaks to users via animated characters that ask intelligent questions and read back results aloud. IVIT also asks users questions to clarify requests.

One Voice will debut IVIT at Internet World in New York this week.

"Our vision is to change the way people interact with their desktop PCs and the Internet by creating entertaining and highly productive technologies and solutions," said One Voice President and CEO Dean Weber. "I feel that current technologies have limitations because everything is predetermined, and [they] don't allow for variation."

Available in all of the major European languages, IVIT can locate a file, launch an application on a PC, search the Web, and notify users of incoming phone calls and e-mails if they're away from their workspace. Besides making PCs easier to use, IVIT allows Internet users to talk directly to their favorite Web sites, officials said.

One Voice plans to partner with PC manufacturers to bundle IVIT with their products and with ISPs and Internet content providers to enable their Web sites with voice. One Voice's first product, Intelligent Voice Animated Navigator, will be available as a free download from the company's Web site late in the fourth quarter. It will also retail for $49 (£30) without dictation and $79 with dictation in January.

One Voice, of San Diego, can be reached at www.onevoicetech.com.