karaoke mic with speaker Look Who's Talking / New Voice technology lets people "chat' out loud -- online
Billy Lemmerman is delighted to expect that she will find a companion in an online chat room where visitors can communicate via voice.When Mike KepkaBillie Lemmerman's Chronicle photo logs in, she looks forward with joy to finding a companion in an online chat room where visitors can communicate via voice.Mike KepkaWhen Billy Lemmerman began to feel lonely, a 74-year-old photo of the Chroniclesyear-The old widow started the computer and went to the chat room on the Internet to talk.But Stockton residents are not just typing and waiting for a written reply, but chatting ---Speak in her voiceTime online with others.Online "chat" is evolving from a rough form of written communication to a multimedia experience that allows users to have oral conversations with friends, relatives, strangers and business partners over the Internet.Like millions of other Internet users, Lemmerman is using a technology called voice chat ---Turn the computer into a huge speaker that allows her to talk to others around the world for free.With major portals such as Excite, Yahoo, and AltaVista incorporating the technology into their existing chat capabilities, the technology is becoming more and more popular.Businesses looking for cheaper ways to communicate with customers, suppliers and employees are also starting to use voice chat instead of simple old e-commerceMail, even phone calls."People like voice chat because it increases the personality of the entire interactive process," said Paul Matteucci, president of HearMe .".Com with voice-enabled Mountain View-Chat technology."It's like the difference between using the phone and writing letters.Hear the voice to convey emotion and personality.This is especially important for strangers who gather together on community websites."So now, chat room users can hear subtle changes that help people measure the context of the conversation, rather than guessing if Jester182 is flirting with you.Unlike picking up the phone, the service is free and allows a lot of people to attend.Although you can talk to a large number of people by phone voiceThe conference, which is expensive and cumbersome, is mainly used by businesses.Voice chat works by downloading the software from the network to the computer's hard disk.With speakers and microphones, users can have conversations with one or hundreds of people on the network.Or they can choose to just text and listen to others in the room.There are some delays like regular chat, so not everyone is chatting at the same time.The software is available on major portals such as Yahoo, Excite and altaavista, as well as on www.hearme.com and www.lipstream.com --Develop this technology and provide it to two companies in the portal and other businesses.After downloading the software, the user can participate in it-on-Talk with dozens of other voice chatters or head to the karaoke room to sing collectively."Now we have more and more computers equipped with microphones and speakers, and voice chat is a natural product of traditional chat rooms," said Larry Gerbrandt, an analyst at Paul Kagan's colleague in Carmel."There is an obvious limitation in the chat room, that is the speed at which you type.Gerbrandt said: "With the sound, people are limited only by the speed of speaking.The technology seems too private for those who like to chat.After all, one of the favorite things about chatroom users is the anonymity it provides.On the Web, chat room users can be anyone they want ---A teenager, an Englishman, made his debut in the South.But, once the sound is integrated, it can be a bit tricky to cheat others to think you're from the French Riviera.Still, the company that offers voice chat says that after a while, most people want the chat experience to go beyond the written language.Matteucci of HearMe says voice chat is a bridge between traditional chat and picking up the phone to call someone.For people like Lemmerman, hear a voice-Even a stranger--It is essential when she feels lonely."I started using voice chat because I was old and I became lonely and it was good to hear the sound," she said .".Lemmerman, who visited the chat room for people over 50 years old, said she met a man from her British hometown last week with a 10-Talked to him for a few minutes.Others, like Ike DeLorenzo, use it for business.DeLorenzo's San Francisco network engineering company, Parlez Communications, uses voice chat to communicate with employees and customers in Montreal and Europe.The company likes to hold virtual meetings where employees can meet online, share files, view charts and discuss details at the same time.They did this through a company called WebX, which recently added voice chat as a service.Web x in San Jose offers a website, www.webex.Allows enterprises to share applications and documents online.Before voice chat, "the weak link is that we can communicate a lot of code design and schematic with people working in Montreal and overseas, but when we are online, we had to pick up the phone and communicate with them, "DeLorenzo said.Through voice chat, DeLorenzo said, "I don't have to keep track of everyone's number or who will initiate a conference call.I just started the meeting and everyone was chatting on the computer and my office phone line was free.In addition, the company's telephone bill fell sharply.The portal that provided the service said it was one of the most popular features, with thousands of people downloading software from Yahoo, AltaVista and Excite.Brian Park, a senior producer at Yahoo, said the portal uses voice chat as a logical extension of regular chat.The company also lets users record and send voice emailsmail messages."Now, if you're a remote worker logging in from home, you can send a voice message to the boss without having to disconnect and make a phone call, which means you can stay online, Park said."For those who have long been, this is very valuable.People who know many people in different countries."It's also a valuable tool for people like Arizona resident George buy, who is a blind person who uses voice chat to communicate with others and uses the technology to start his ownBuys, who lost sight 13 years ago, created an online community where people can communicate through voice chat.At www.audio-tips.Buys said that blind people can talk to people who lose their eyesight and learn how to play a role without using their eyes.He says having voice chat makes blind people feel like they are part of the online community rather than being left out."Voice chat makes blind computer users more powerful," says Buys ."