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March 29, 2000


Lou Saviano
Maita/Saviano Public Relations
510 739-0621

netECHO™ Lets You Surf and Hear Any Web site, Check E-mail, Using ANY phone- WITHOUT A COMPUTER to Demo New Audio Internet Access Service at Spring Internet World 2000, Launch Pad, Booth #5668

SPRING INTERNET WORLD 2000 - (Mar. 29, 2000) -- A Silicon Valley start-up plans to show Internet fans that a computer isn't always necessary for accessing the Web -- an ordinary phone will work just fine.

San Jose-based, an audio Internet Service Provider will demonstrate its netECHO™ service at the Spring Internet World 2000 trade show, April 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The show boasts nearly 50,000 attendees interested in the hottest Internet applications and technologies.

"We've figured out a way to let you TALK to the Internet so you can easily gather important web-based information without a computer. That can come in handy when you are on the road, waiting for a plane, or even attending a soccer match," said Dr. Emdad Khan, president and CEO of

netECHO will allow users to go "on-line" to any web site with an ordinary telephone, payphone or cell phone, and use simple voice commands to:

  • Surf (among Web sites)
  • Search (for information)
  • Check e-mail (such Yahoo mail)
  • Conduct e-commerce.

Subscribers reach netECHO™ through a toll-free number, and verbally request the information they want. For example, they can request stock quotes, ask for news updates, check the current weather report, or review their e-mail.

Breakthrough technology translates the requested Web page information into text, then reads it out loud - minus the banners, ads and images normally seen when using a computer to access the Internet. When users hear an item that interests them, they select it by voice, and are taken to the newly selected destination.

Dr. Khan is the technical genius behind netECHO, which integrates intelligent agent, text-to-speech, speech recognition and telephone interface technologies.

"The Internet is a vast resource with a major limitation: users have traditionally needed a computer to go on-line. With netECHO™, anyone can easily access the Internet from a simple, ubiquitous appliance - an ordinary telephone," Khan said.

When launched in May, netECHO™ will cost $29.95 per month. The initial product will allow users to check their web-based Yahoo e-mail, as well as surf and search the Internet. Subsequent versions of the product will allow subscribers to conduct e-commerce transactions by phone, such as purchase a last minute gift, or make stock trades, and access other web-based e-mail systems, such as Hotmail and AOL mail.

The product is expected to appeal to mobile professionals, people without a computer, and the visually impaired. also plans to offer customized audio-based Internet solutions to businesses and resellers. For example, would work with a company to develop an application that allows mobile workers to access the company's Intranet remotely, and verbally retrieve or input new data. The product could be packaged with other products, such as traditional, computer-based Internet access, or voice-mail offerings.

The company is also working with telephone and portal companies, Internet Service Providers and Application Service Providers to rapidly deploy the technology worldwide.

About is a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, California. It was founded in 1998 to provide audio-based access to the Internet via telephone. The company believes that today's increasingly mobile and information-driven society will require alternative ways to go online when away from a computer terminal. also is interested in bringing the Internet to these large segments of the population - potential users who don't own or have access to a computer as well as the visually impaired and disabled community - by using the most natural interface, their own voice and any phone.

For more information, visit's Web site at


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