Meridian Utilizes Fonix Speech Technology for Traffic Info Service

10/28/2003 - Fonix(R) Corp. (FNIX), an international provider of award-winning speech solutions, announces that Meridian Environmental Technology, a leading provider of weather forecasting and analysis services, has deployed a multistate traveler information service beginning in North Dakota; the system utilizes Fonix speech technology.

In July 2000, the FCC assigned 511 as the number for nationwide access to traveler information. 511 was designated as a free service and when fully implemented will cover the majority of roads in the United States, helping travelers avoid congested routes and safety hazards. Meridian and Fonix have partnered to incorporate Fonix's standards-based s.Manager(TM) integration platform into Meridian's 511 traveler information system.

Meridian's 511 system using Fonix technology is currently available in North Dakota, with other states scheduled to deploy the system in the near future. As the 511 system expands coverage across the United States, it marks a significant revenue opportunity for Fonix. Fonix licenses its speech technology to Meridian under a nonexclusive contractual agreement. Under the license agreement, Meridian can purchase additional ports as they expand their service to other states.

"By adding speech technology to the 511 system, Meridian offers the state's travelers the most convenient access to advanced travel-related information," said Mark Owens, vice president, Meridian Transportation Services. "Fonix speech interfaces are particularly useful on the road; rather than dialing numbers, callers can simply speak the appropriate requests to access needed information. They don't need to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel."

By dialing 5-1-1, callers can access information about route-specific weather and road conditions. "The system uses Fonix technology to give callers the easiest and safest interface to getting road condition and weather information," said Walt Nawrocki, vice president of Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) at Fonix. "The caller just asks for information on a specific section of highway, and the application using Fonix's speech interface queries a database for that highway and speaks the information from the database to the caller." The Fonix solution was built upon the company's standards-based s.Manager, a high-level interface that allows developers to seamlessly integrate speech to various applications.

The Meridian 511 service provides route-specific road and weather conditions for all state, U.S. and Interstate routes. Road conditions are provided as often as every five minutes by the North Dakota Department of Transportation, while weather information specific to the roadway is provided and updated by Meridian at least every hour around the clock. This system is currently the only statewide 511 traveler information system to provide travelers with information on both the current state highway system and surrounding state highway systems.

About Fonix s.Manager
Fonix s.Manager is a high-level framework that provides a developer-friendly interface through which to incorporate speech. The Fonix s.Manager allows application developers to easily build IVR and other speech recognition applications by coding to a well-defined application layer. s.Manager supports Fonix ASR, Fonix text-to-speech (TTS) and OEM TTS engines. Linux and Windows are supported along with both full- and half-duplex Dialogic cards.

About Meridian
Meridian Environmental Technology Inc. is one the Midwest's fastest growing advanced technology companies, bringing leading-edge technology solutions to surface transportation, agriculture, emergency management and other industries nationwide. Meridian's cutting-edge technologies are designed to provide a modern approach to the processing, analysis, forecasting, application and dissemination of high-end weather information, allowing Meridian to develop and deliver products that both enhance productivity and improve the quality of everyday life. Visit for more information, or contact a Meridian representative at 701-792-1800, or write:

Meridian Environmental Technology Inc.
P.O. Box 14178
Grand Forks, ND 58208-4178

About Fonix
Fonix Corp. provides speech interface solutions for mobile/wireless devices, computer telephony systems, the assistive market, automobiles and everyday consumer devices. Visit for an introduction to Fonix's complete suite of speech solutions, or contact a Fonix representative at 801-553-6600 and say "Sales."

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