I/NET Opens Chicago Office To Develop Conversational Interface Technology

Researchers to Develop Computer Control Systems

That Respond to Everyday Language



Feb 06, 2001, 00:00 ET from I/NET, Inc.

    KALAMAZOO, Mich., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- I/NET, Inc.
 (OTC Bulletin Board:   INNI) today announced it has established an office in
 Chicago, Ill. to pursue the development of conversational interfaces --
 systems that use everyday spoken language to control computers and other
 electronic devices and systems.
     The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based software and solutions provider said the
 Chicago location will be staffed by three of the world's leading authorities
 in the field:  Dr. R. James Firby, John Wiseman, and Michael Hannemann.
     All three individuals have extensive experience designing and developing
 human/computer interaction systems for organizations such as NASA.  They join
 I/NET from the Chicago-based Neodesic Corporation.  While at Neodesic, the
 three worked closely with current I/NET Chief Technology Officer Dr. Will
 Fitzgerald, who served as Neodesic's Director of Research.
     "We have spent considerable time identifying conversational interface
 technology as an area of high potential for I/NET and are very pleased to have
 these very talented and respected individuals now leading our efforts," said
 Stephen J. Markee, I/NET president and chief executive officer.  "When we
 named Will Fitzgerald as CTO, we charged him with developing the best new
 opportunities on the technology horizon.  The establishment of the Chicago
 team is a direct reflection of Will's vision and effort."
     Markee added that the decision to develop conversational interface
 technology fits well with the Company's established plans to continually
 identify and explore strategic alliances that leverage I/NET's expertise.
     "We remain focused on our strategic growth plan, which includes the
 pursuit of software and web development, as well as strategic alliances.  With
 our Chicago initiative, we have acquired world-class knowledge and experience
 in the application of an important, emerging technology with multiple
 applications."
     A conversational interface, also termed a natural language interface,
 allows a person to interact with a computer or control system using normal,
 conversational language.
     Unlike voice recognition systems that simply substitute sound for typed
 commands, a conversational interface provides a natural, intuitive dialogue
 between people and computing systems.  Potential applications range from heavy
 industry to space missions to the burgeoning automotive Internet market (known
 as telematics).
     "As Internet portals and other complex interactive systems find their way
 to car dashboards, factory floors and similar locations, it will become
 increasingly important to have simple, safe, efficient ways for people to use
 them.  That's what conversational interfaces are all about," Fitzgerald said.
 "When implemented effectively, these systems can redefine how people use
 computers."
     Dr. R. James Firby, 44, will serve as Chief Scientist for I/NET.  Prior to
 joining I/NET, Dr. Firby was the co-founder and chief technological officer of
 Neodesic Corporation, where he was primarily responsible for the design and
 implementation of software products.  He also served as Assistant Professor in
 Computer Science at the University of Chicago from 1990 to 1997.  During his
 last two years at the University, Dr. Firby and Dr. Fitzgerald developed
 conversational interfaces and intelligent control systems for NASA robotic
 systems.
     Prior to the University of Chicago, Dr. Firby was a member of the
 technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he helped design and
 develop autonomous navigation software for the Mars Rover prototype.  He was
 also a member of the Mars Rover mission design team.  Dr. Firby has a Ph.D. in
 computer science from Yale University and a Master of Science degree in
 biomedical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
     Joining Dr. Firby at I/NET are John Wiseman and Michael Hannemann.  In
 addition to developing enterprise client/server software and interactive web
 applications at Neodesic, Wiseman and Hannemann worked with Drs. Fitzgerald
 and Firby on conversational interfaces and intelligent control systems for
 NASA, Sony and Lockheed-Martin.  Their work included the development of
 systems and prototypes for autonomous submarine minefield mapping, website
 navigation, telemetric data workbenches, interactive entertainment and
 autonomous free-flying robotic cameras.  Hannemann has a B.A. in Physics from
 the University of Chicago and Wiseman has a B.S. in Computer Science and
 Mathematics from Northern Illinois University.
     I/NET provides software and services to small businesses and Fortune 500
 corporations.  Established in 1982 as a contract software development firm,
 I/NET has been a pioneer in the areas of digital imaging, voice recognition
 and multimedia.  Visit http://www.inetmi.com .
     This news release contains forward-looking statements that are made
 pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and
 uncertainties, and actual results may differ substantially from these
 statements.  For a more complete disclosure of these risk factors, please
 refer to the Company's quarterly Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filings with the
 Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 

SOURCE I/NET, Inc.
    KALAMAZOO, Mich., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- I/NET, Inc.
 (OTC Bulletin Board:   INNI) today announced it has established an office in
 Chicago, Ill. to pursue the development of conversational interfaces --
 systems that use everyday spoken language to control computers and other
 electronic devices and systems.
     The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based software and solutions provider said the
 Chicago location will be staffed by three of the world's leading authorities
 in the field:  Dr. R. James Firby, John Wiseman, and Michael Hannemann.
     All three individuals have extensive experience designing and developing
 human/computer interaction systems for organizations such as NASA.  They join
 I/NET from the Chicago-based Neodesic Corporation.  While at Neodesic, the
 three worked closely with current I/NET Chief Technology Officer Dr. Will
 Fitzgerald, who served as Neodesic's Director of Research.
     "We have spent considerable time identifying conversational interface
 technology as an area of high potential for I/NET and are very pleased to have
 these very talented and respected individuals now leading our efforts," said
 Stephen J. Markee, I/NET president and chief executive officer.  "When we
 named Will Fitzgerald as CTO, we charged him with developing the best new
 opportunities on the technology horizon.  The establishment of the Chicago
 team is a direct reflection of Will's vision and effort."
     Markee added that the decision to develop conversational interface
 technology fits well with the Company's established plans to continually
 identify and explore strategic alliances that leverage I/NET's expertise.
     "We remain focused on our strategic growth plan, which includes the
 pursuit of software and web development, as well as strategic alliances.  With
 our Chicago initiative, we have acquired world-class knowledge and experience
 in the application of an important, emerging technology with multiple
 applications."
     A conversational interface, also termed a natural language interface,
 allows a person to interact with a computer or control system using normal,
 conversational language.
     Unlike voice recognition systems that simply substitute sound for typed
 commands, a conversational interface provides a natural, intuitive dialogue
 between people and computing systems.  Potential applications range from heavy
 industry to space missions to the burgeoning automotive Internet market (known
 as telematics).
     "As Internet portals and other complex interactive systems find their way
 to car dashboards, factory floors and similar locations, it will become
 increasingly important to have simple, safe, efficient ways for people to use
 them.  That's what conversational interfaces are all about," Fitzgerald said.
 "When implemented effectively, these systems can redefine how people use
 computers."
     Dr. R. James Firby, 44, will serve as Chief Scientist for I/NET.  Prior to
 joining I/NET, Dr. Firby was the co-founder and chief technological officer of
 Neodesic Corporation, where he was primarily responsible for the design and
 implementation of software products.  He also served as Assistant Professor in
 Computer Science at the University of Chicago from 1990 to 1997.  During his
 last two years at the University, Dr. Firby and Dr. Fitzgerald developed
 conversational interfaces and intelligent control systems for NASA robotic
 systems.
     Prior to the University of Chicago, Dr. Firby was a member of the
 technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he helped design and
 develop autonomous navigation software for the Mars Rover prototype.  He was
 also a member of the Mars Rover mission design team.  Dr. Firby has a Ph.D. in
 computer science from Yale University and a Master of Science degree in
 biomedical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
     Joining Dr. Firby at I/NET are John Wiseman and Michael Hannemann.  In
 addition to developing enterprise client/server software and interactive web
 applications at Neodesic, Wiseman and Hannemann worked with Drs. Fitzgerald
 and Firby on conversational interfaces and intelligent control systems for
 NASA, Sony and Lockheed-Martin.  Their work included the development of
 systems and prototypes for autonomous submarine minefield mapping, website
 navigation, telemetric data workbenches, interactive entertainment and
 autonomous free-flying robotic cameras.  Hannemann has a B.A. in Physics from
 the University of Chicago and Wiseman has a B.S. in Computer Science and
 Mathematics from Northern Illinois University.
     I/NET provides software and services to small businesses and Fortune 500
 corporations.  Established in 1982 as a contract software development firm,
 I/NET has been a pioneer in the areas of digital imaging, voice recognition
 and multimedia.  Visit http://www.inetmi.com .
     This news release contains forward-looking statements that are made
 pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and
 uncertainties, and actual results may differ substantially from these
 statements.  For a more complete disclosure of these risk factors, please
 refer to the Company's quarterly Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filings with the
 Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 SOURCE  I/NET, Inc.