MagneticTime, an Irish audio company focused on user mobility, recently launched MT1, a software product that translates e-mails and Microsoft Word documents to audio files, for on-the-go access.
"I find business reading quite boring and when you have a large amount of e-mails coming in every day it can get a bit bewildering," said Richard ODonnell, CEO for MagneticTime. "I was sitting on the plane trying to figure out how to use my iPod for access and thats when I came up with the idea for MT1."
MagneticTime is marketing its MT1 product as a tool for personal or business use. Commuters can use the technology to access voice mail while en route.
In terms of consumer-level application, the company encourages customers to create portable "audioized" e-mail libraries, or to use MT1 for storing and backing up personal documents.
"There [are] implications for corporate communications, training and education," ODonnell said in a prepared statement.
"Several universities in the U.S. are looking at using the iPod as a means to distribute course content to students, such as for the records of lectures. The MT1 series takes that approach a step further by allowing any Word-based course content to also be converted to voice."
MT1, which is compatible with Apple iPods, cell phones, PDAs and PCs, automatically translates Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express e-mails — along with attached Word documents — to MP3 format.
MT1 technology lets users pause, play, stop, skip and store files to playlists.
The MagneticTime software works by first creating a folder to copy all incoming e-mails. Each time a new message arrives in the users in box, MT1 automatically stores and translates the document from text to voice.