Talking to your coffee maker will not be an indication of madness in the future, if plans by German company Cortologic, which was looking to raise Euro10m at the European Investment Forum, are realised.
Much as Captain Jean-Luc Picard asks his 'replicator' for "tea, Earl Grey, hot" in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cortologic anticipates that its technology will enable such mundane things as coffee percolators to recognise human speech.
But Ilse Schebesche, CEO, stresses that the company's DSP hardware modules and asics have implications for mobile phones, automotive and the wider consumer market of white and brown goods - anything, in fact, where there is a man-machine interface.
It already counts General Motors, VW and Analog Devices among its customers.
Cortologic is seeking Euro10m in third round funding in exchange for a 20% share in the company, to expand sales and marketing, develop new products, before going public. It expects to increase its Euro500 000 anticipated sales for 2000 to more than Euro28m by 2003 and break even in two years.