Now that the Internet is getting older, it is beginning to talk back. Web pages which support on-line buying and selling will soon enable operators to coach consumers through the sometimes frustrating process of filling out cyber order forms. Talking Web pages are just one of the benefits of a new concept technology from Cisco Systems known as AVVID (architectural voice video and integrated data). Company spokesmen said the technology would dramatically boost development of e-commerce because it supported interactive functions that made buying on-line easy. Whereas voice and data had so far been carried on separate networks, AVVID would combine the power of the Internet and the telephone, Cisco's channel development support manager, Sunny Chan, said. 'The whole concept is trying to merge voice, video and data into a single platform,' he said. 'We are trying to accelerate e- commerce solutions using this technology.' In the future, buying on-line might work something like this: On-line shoppers who run into problems while browsing merchandise or filling out the information fields on order forms can click a voice icon located on the Web page. A human operator will then assist a customer through the purchase pro cess and 'mirror' their mouse to input data such as Visa numbers. Mr Chan said: 'He will not just teach you by voice, but will lead you by taking charge of the mouse.' The human operator took some of the fear out of Internet shopping and should clear hurdles blocking mass consumer acceptance of the medium, he said. 'This is more important while doing e-commerce solutions,' Mr Chan said, adding that it usually took up to a day for consumers to get help by e-mail. 'People are afraid of what kind of information to put in and where.' Cisco, a United States- based networking giant, will unveil the AVVID platform to Asian corporations and government information bodies at the Information Infrastructure Expo and Conference 2000. Mr Chan said a working prototype would be on display, and it was expected to go on sale by the end of the year. Mr Chan said the AVVID platform would help realise the convergence of data, video and voice traffic on to a unified multi-service network. Efforts by telecommunication providers to merge on to a single infrastructure have been hampered by technical problems and the 'hierarchical systems' built into dial-tone delivery. AVVID, Mr Chan said, was one of the first technologies to provide a viable solution to migrate voice traffic on to the Internet platform.