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Phone? Got Web!
Begins Testing netECHO™ Service in
Bay Area, Letting
Users Speak to, Hear Web Any Site
Over Any Phone
JOSE -- (May 31, 2000) -- InternetSpeech.com today announced that it is testing
an early version of its new netECHO™ service in Silicon Valley, allowing trial
participants to hear information from any Web site by using an ordinary telephone,
payphone or cell phone.
allows users go “on-line” by dialing a toll-free number, and give simple voice
commands to go to any Web site, search for information, or check their e-mail.
They'll also be able to directly access news, sports, weather, stock quotes, directions
and other popular information.
you can't 'point and click' your way to the Net, netECHO™ lets you talk your way
to the Net, over the phone, and hear the content of any Web site" said Dr. Emdad
Khan, president and CEO of InternetSpeech.com, which developed netECHO™.
asking test participants to share their opinions about this preliminary version
of netECHO™ before we introduce it to the market,” said Ed Kennedy, vice president
of marketing and sales for InternetSpeech.com. Residents who live in the
San Francisco Bay Area who are interested in participating in the trial should
send an e-mail that includes their name, home phone number and address, to email@example.com.
The company plans to gradually increase the number of trial participants.
developed an Intelligent Agent that uses speech recognition technology to understand
your request, goes to the Web site and gathers just the important information,"
Khan said. “It then uses text-to-speech technology to read it out loud,
over the phone.”
telephone is a simple tool that everyone is familiar and comfortable with,” added
Khan, “so we’ve figured out a way to combine the convenience of the phone, with
the power of the Internet. We believe there are times when people
would rather talk and listen, rather than type and read, and netECHO™ makes that
portals are just starting to hit the marketplace, but only InternetSpeech.com
offers audio Internet access, allowing users to search the entire Internet, and
hear what’s on any Web page. Like the portals, netECHO™ will provide easy
access to often-desired information, such as stock quotes, news updates, weather
the portals, netECHO™ provides true audio Internet access, so subscribers can
search for and retrieve information from anywhere on the Web," Khan said.
"They’re not limited to the information their provider has decided is useful."
can go to a particular Web site by spelling out the URL, or by saying the bookmarked
name. InternetSpeech.com has identified several popular sites that users
may choose to visit, such as Yahoo, CNBC, ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, CNN,
C-net, Women, the Drudge Report, the San Jose Mercury and SF Gate. Users
reach those sites simply by saying the name.
may also set their own bookmarks, using any name they choose.
initial product will allow users to access their Web-based Yahoo e-mail, and later
versions will include access to other Web-based e-mail systems, such as Hotmail
and AOL mail. Future versions will also feature language translation capabilities,
so that Web pages can be retrieved and read in other languages, such as Spanish,
German or Japanese.
is initially being launched as a retail product, but InternetSpeech.com is working
with a Fortune 500 computer manufacturer, telephone and portal companies, Internet
Service Providers and Application Service Providers to deploy the technology nationwide.
is also working on a business-to-business software product that companies can
use to allow customers to call in and hear what’s on their Web sites. The
product uses InternetSpeech.com technology to automatically rework their site,
making it more user-friendly in an audio format. As the site changes, the
software automatically updates the audio version. Alternative products which
convert Web pages into audio format are manual in nature, and are therefore slower,
and more expensive.
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."
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.