IBM has opened the doors at its seven technology development labs to visits from partners and their customers, having previously made them accessible to only its closest partners.
At last week's Business Partner Executive Conference, IBM issued an invitation to its channel and development partners to get in touch with it to work on specific technology projects.
The invitation was delivered as IBM gave business partners a sneak preview of some the technologies that it would be offering to its partners to co-develop. It claimed 800 business partners visited the labs last year.
Carol Kovac, vice president of applications and solutions at IBM, demonstrated advances to the technology used in its speech recognition product, ViaVoice, to create an intelligent interface to internet business applications.
The technology uses text recognition and mining capabilities to deduce the nature of an emailed enquiry and formulates a reply. It could also send multimedia demonstrations and conduct a prolonged dialogue. The technology is scheduled to be available within the next two years .
In a second demonstration, IBM previewed HotMedia, a Java-based development tool designed to improve the multimedia capabilities of an internet site without wasting users' time downloading plug-in applications for enhanced sound or graphics capability. HotMedia will include open application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow developers to work with the technology.
HotMedia will give developers the opportunity to create Websites that rotate or zoom in on particular graphics, run video clips or animation without having to move to a different internet page.
IBM also discussed projects with human-like interface to computers and gestural recognition, code-named the emotional mouse - a mouse that can detect emotion.
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