Fonix Corp. (OTCBB: FONX), a leading provider of human-user interface technology and voice solutions for wireless and mobile devices, Internet and telephony systems, and vehicle telematics, and Odyssey Technology Inc., a company that provides end-to-end technology solutions for retailers and their customers, Tuesday announced the signing of an OEM agreement for the use of the Fonix FAAST Embedded 1.0 Voice Recognition System in the Odyssey iOn Shopper(TM), an unparalleled PDA-like handheld device.
Consumers, prior to and while shopping, may voice-access the features of the iOn Shopper(TM), a device similar in design and appearance to popular PDAs, but with a look and feel completely customized for the consumer. The Fonix FAAST Embedded 1.0 Voice Recognition System allows the consumer to access information contained in the iOn Shopper by simply speaking into the device.
Dan Eshner, vice president of software engineering at Odyssey Technology, said, "Fonix has provided Odyssey with significant capabilities that are essential to enhance the user interface to the customer. With Fonix Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) as one element of the interface, we are able to extend retail services to a demographic that has traditionally resisted technology.
"Speech recognition is a much more powerful means of input than methods utilized by other, less powerful PDAs."
A customer may add items to his list at any time. If he thinks of a necessary item, such as cereal, with Fonix ASR, he speaks "cereal" into the iOn Shopper, and various cereal products appear on the touch screen, allowing the shopper to choose which one he wants. No pens or paper are necessary.
Users transfer the list to the store through the Internet. In turn, the retailer, connected wirelessly to the database via Bluetooth, will scan the list and inform the shopper as to when his order will be ready. The iOn Shopper also advises the customer of store specials and discounts.
"This is another compelling application utilizing Fonix ASR in a state-of-the-art product that will make shopping for any item an easier and more enjoyable process," said John A. Oberteuffer, Ph.D., vice president of technology at Fonix Corp.
"The Odyssey iOn Shopper fits the Fonix business model, providing voice access to handheld mobile computing devices generating per unit royalty fees. Voice activation and access to information on handheld computing devices enhances consumer services and expands the ASR in the embedded systems marketplace, where size limits most speech recognizers."
Fonix FAAST Embedded 1.0 utilizes an optimized technology core empowering a notably small executable footprint within an enabled device. The Odyssey iOn Shopper, utilizing Fonix ASR, is powered by the Intel(R) StrongArm 1110 Processor, and will be available in the second quarter of 2001.
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