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Tue 16 Jan 2001 04:00 AM

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Plantronics unveils DSP headsets

Four new headsets built on DSP quality and USB connectivity arrive in the Middle East, aiming to drive the adoption of speech recognition software

Plantronics has released its new range of digitally enhanced headsets into the Middle East. Each of the four headsets, distributed by Timna Electronics, makes use of digital signal processing (DSP) and is compatible with both Macs and PCs. The announcement follows the global launch of the new headsets just two weeks ago.The digital headsets connect via USB, bypassing the soundcards that have traditionally received analogue headsets. By using a USB interface, the new devices are free from the electromagnetic interference (EMI) that typically degrades the quality of communication signals. USB connectivity also makes the headsets easy to install.The headset market, totalling $1 billion today, is largely made up of sales to the call centre industry. However, Plantronics’ research indicates that the figure will treble by 2003, with home PC users accounting for 10% of the newfound profit. Driving the adoption of headsets at home will be innovative applications such as voice recognition software — and the proliferation of new Internet audio technologies, for example Net telephony and chat. "Even Bill Gates is stressing the importance of voice recognition to the future of Windows as an operating system," said Howard Shelton, regional general manager, Plantronics. "We expect you will one day control all of your PC functions with just your voice."The four headsets number the DSP-100 USB Speech-recognition headset and software; the DSP-300 Lightweight Headset; the DSP-400 Foldable Stereo Headset; and the DSP-500 Gaming and Multimedia Headset.Shelton also confirmed that Timna, formerly responsible for the sale of Plantronics’ products in Saudi Arabia alone, would now conduct sales throughout the Middle East from its operations in the Sharjah Airport Free Zone.

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