Lou Saviano: 510 739-0621
Lernout & Hauspie
Michelle Doherty: 781 203-5324
Selects Lernout & Hauspie's Text-to-Speech Technology For Its Audio Internet Product
Will Use L&H RealSpeak to Allow Users to Hear Web Content Over Any
JOSE -- (May 22, 2000) -- InternetSpeech.com, an audio Internet Technology
Provider, today announced a licensing agreement with Lernout & Hauspie (L&H) (Nasdaq:
LHSP; Easdaq: LHSP) a global leader in speech and language products, technologies
and services, to integrate the award-winning L&H RealSpeak in their
netECHO product. netECHO provides customers access to any Web site
via any phone without a computer. Under the agreement InternetSpeech.com will
deploy L&H RealSpeak , a human sounding text-to-speech (TTS) engine, to
enable users to have Web content read aloud over the phone.
In addition to having Web content read over the phone, netECHO will enable
users to surf the entire Web and manage their Web-based e-mail, all with simple
voice commands. netECHO also offers voice portal capabilities, giving subscribers
access to information, such as stock quotes, news, weather, directions, horoscopes,
etc. Requested information is read out loud without the graphics. Future versions
will also feature v-commerce, and language translation capabilities.
award-winning text-to-speech (TTS) technology will help us provide customers with
a pleasant 'on-line' experience," said Dr. Emdad Khan, president and CEO of San
Jose-based InternetSpeech.com. "Lernout & Hauspie has a proven track record in
providing top-notch TTS technology, and the sound quality offered by their synthetic
speech engine is incredible," he added.
voice technology industry is just now taking off, with several companies poised
to offer voice portal services which offer access to pre-selected information,
such as weather or sports scores," Khan said. "What sets netECHO apart is
that it offers users access to any Web site, including sites written for the Wireless
Application Protocol (WAP)."
Internet provides a powerful tool for gathering information and performing daily
tasks, however access is currently limited by the need to be at a computer," said
Gerald Calabrese, senior vice president of worldwide sales for L&H. "With the
vast amount of services and information provided on the Web, consumers are demanding
a better, easier way to access content. Speech is a natural interface, and products
such as netECHO will help mainstream consumers harness the power of the
for voice-accessible services is on the rise as consumers search for ways to get
the information they need, when they need it, whether they're commuting to an
important business meeting, attending a basketball game, or just hanging out at
the beach," said Khan. netECHO is expected to appeal to mobile professionals,
the visually impaired, and people without access to a computer.
Other companies are revamping business Web sites so that customers can call a
designated number and, using spoken directions, get access to company information,
place orders, check their account status, etc. To date, they've had to rewrite
their existing pages using VXML (Voice Extensible Mark-up Language.) InternetSpeech.com
is developing technology which automates the process of making a Web site telephone-accessible,
making it easier, faster and cheaper for businesses to provide a voice-based channel
for customers. Since it reads the actual Web page, maintenance time and costs
are also dramatically reduced.
Demonstration at AVIOS
InternetSpeech.com will demonstrate its new netECHO service at AVIOS (American
Voice Input Output Society) conference May 22-24 in San Jose.
The company will launch a test of netECHO at the end of the month in the
San Francisco Bay Area, with nationwide expansion planned later this year. Participants
in the netECHO test will be offered the first two months of service free.
The company plans to offer the service for $29.95 a month when the product is
InternetSpeech.com develops, markets and supports an Audio Internet Browser, netECHO
, which provides audio-based telephone access to the Internet for businesses and
individuals. The company's patent-pending technology can be bundled with other
products, such as traditional computer-based Internet access, or voice mail, and
can be customized to meet individual business needs, such as employee access to
Intranet sites. InternetSpeech.com is also developing business software that automates
the process of voice-enabling a company's Web site, furthering development of
the "voice web."
InternetSpeech.com is a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, Calif.,
It currently has licenses to use text-to-speech technology from Lernout & Hauspie
and speech recognition technology from SpeechWorks International, Inc. For more
information about InternetSpeech.com, visit www.internetspeech.com,
or call 1-408-360-7730.
and RealSpeak are trademarks of Lernout &Hauspie Speech Products N.V.