Fonix and Bantam Offer Free Trial of Personal Text Reader on Portable Players

SALT LAKE CITY, UT and ST. LOUIS, MO -- Fonix Corporation (OTC BB: FONX), a provider of natural-user interface technology solutions for wireless and mobile devices, Internet and telephony systems, and vehicle telematics, and Bantam Interactive Inc., a leading manufacturer of Web-enabled digital audio devices, announced that Bantam's Explor BA350 digital audio MP3 player will now include iSpeak, a personal text reader from Fonix. "Bantam is focused on delivering new concepts and features which meet market demand, and we recognized the need for more innovative electronic components aimed towards the active lifestyles we live," said Santosh Patel, president of Bantam Interactive Inc. "The BA350 combined with iSpeak is a breakthrough in portable text-to-speech and music technology, and is the ideal device for listeners on the go." "We see the inclusion of iSpeak in Bantam's BA350 player as a real benefit to customers, particularly college students, who can now take a wide variety of text information from their computers, convert it to a speech file, and listen to it anywhere on this innovative miniature device", said Kirk Feller, vice president and general manager, Consumer Applications, Fonix Corporation. "The bundling of iSpeak with the BA350 provides a highly versatile and useful tool." According to Bantam, the Explor BA350 is the smallest, lightest, and slimmest 128MB digital audio device available and plays MP3, WMA, and future formats. The credit card-sized product, winner of the Consumer Electronics Association's Innovations 2002 Design and Engineering Award, includes the market's first built-in Lithium Ion battery that automatically recharges while downloading files, all through a USB port, delivering more than twelve hours of skip-free listening. Fonix iSpeak is a text-to-speech application that transforms text into natural-sounding audio files. iSpeak automatically reads aloud any ASCII text and allows users to easily adjust pitch, speed, and volume. Users can scan email, review Web sites, and listen to lengthy documents, all while performing other tasks. Text files can be saved as portable MP3s for later listening on planes, in cars, at the gym, or anywhere the user chooses. Information for this story was provided by Fonix and Bantam.
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