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April 5, 2000

Lou Saviano: 510 739-0621

Leah Lesser: 617 428-4444 Chooses Speech Recognition Technology from SpeechWorks To Let netECHO™ Customers Use Their Voices To Reach ANY Web Site Through ANY phone to Demo New Audio Internet Access Service at Spring Internet World 2000, Launch Pad, Booth #5668

SPRING INTERNET WORLD -- (April 5, 2000) --, an audio Internet Service Provider that allows people to use the Internet through the phone rather than a computer, announced today that it has signed an agreement with SpeechWorks International, Inc., the market leader in speech recognition solutions for e-business*, to use its speech recognition technology in's netECHO™ service. will demonstrate its new netECHO™ service at the Spring Internet World 2000 trade show, April 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The agreement between, based in San Jose, CA., and SpeechWorks, based in Boston, MA., calls for to incorporate the SpeechWorksÒ 6 solution into its netECHO™ service.

"'s solution provides an exciting new level of convenience by bringing the power of the Web to anyone with a phone," said Steve Chambers, vice president of worldwide marketing, SpeechWorks. "Rather than navigating the Web through a cumbersome device such as a phone screen, people can simply speak and listen to get information. is propelling forward the end of the tethered world, and its innovative use of SpeechWorks to do so is commendable."

netECHO™ will allow users to go "on-line" to any Web site - including sites written with Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) -- with any phone - wired or wireless - and use simple voice commands to hear the text content of the Web site, without the ads and graphics. netECHO™ will let users hear their e-mail and respond verbally, as well as hear Web-based news, stock quotes, weather, traveling directions and any other information that is on any Web site, not just special "voice-enabled" sites.

"We've developed a way to let you surf anywhere on the Net with your voice, and hear the information over any phone, so you can easily find important Web-based information without a computer," said Dr. Emdad Khan, president and CEO of "That can be very useful if you are traveling away from your workplace computer, or if you don't have a computer. We also think it can be helpful to people with visual impairments."

"We have chosen SpeechWorks because of its leadership in over-the-telephone speech recognition," said Khan. "SpeechWorks will help netECHO™ users get to the Web site they want, where our intelligent agent technology filters and extracts the information they want from the site and reads it back to them over the phone," Khan said.

Pricing and Availability
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, and access other Web-based e-mail systems, such as Hotmail and AOL mail. 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 others, 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. You may visit them on the Web at

About SpeechWorks
Organizations worldwide rely on SpeechWorks to delight their callers and provide them with a new level of service over the phone. Complementing the self-service model of e-business, SpeechWorks® speech recognition solutions, including the revolutionary SpeechSite™, let consumers direct their calls, obtain information and complete transactions automatically, simply by speaking naturally over any phone, anytime.

SpeechWorks customers include some of the world's most sophisticated customer service innovators such as Continental Airlines, E*TRADE, FedEx/Nextlink, Hewlett-Packard, and United Airlines. The Company offers the SpeechWorks Here® Guarantee, the industry's only program that includes a money-back guarantee.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with offices worldwide, SpeechWorks is a privately held corporation with financing from Intel Corporation, The Intel64 Fund, SAP and venture capital firms. To experience the power of SpeechWorks, call toll-free: 1.888.SAY.DEMO. For additional information, call 617.428.4444 or visit


* In the Frost and Sullivan U.S. Telephony-based Speech Technology Software Market 2000 report, SpeechWorks had the largest market share in 1999 of all the speech vendors in the report.

SpeechWorks, SpeechWorks Here, and SpeechSite are trademarks or registered trademarks of SpeechWorks International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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