Brussels, 11 Mar 2003
One of the items on show at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover from 12 to 19 March will be a talking washing machine that also recognises spoken commands, developed by a German speech technology company.
The machine, named Hermine, understands washing instructions and is able to offer advice on which cycle would be appropriate for which clothes and stains and what the symbols on clothes labels mean.
The CeBIT fair will provide the inventors, 'Speech Experts - society for innovative speech technology' with the opportunity to assess the demand for their invention. 'For us this is a taster of how people will react. If they buy the product, it will go into production,' Angelika Salmen, one of the inventors, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Hermine was developed by five young graduates from the University of Regensburg. The team say that standardised dialogue is also possible with dishwashers and central heating.
CeBIT is the world's largest information technology and telecommunications fair.
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