OnStar calls on Big Blue for voice software

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos

OnStar, the General Motors subsidiary that provides roadside help, has said that this year it will adopt IBM WebSphere voice response software and IBM servers to provide service. Voice recognition and activation technology has been around for years, but it has only recently begun to be adopted for commercial use. Instead of being used for memo dictation, the software is being put to work where keyboards aren't practical and verbal communication will primarily consist of quick, short statements that are easier for computers to process.

The market for telematics, the technology of putting computer systems in cars, is expected to rise to $20 million by 2007, according to statistics cited by OnStar.