While working in marketing and product development for various area start-ups, John Atkinson found himself most often on the road. He found it hard to keep up with the day's news as a result.
"I traveled all the time, and never could keep up with news," says Atkinson, also a partner in QI Healthcare
. "I didn't want to drag newspapers around.
"Trying to read four-point font (on a phone) while driving was insane. My business partner Roy Georgia had been in tech for years, and we said, 'There has to be a way to solve this problem.' "
That was the beginning of BuzzVoice
, a mobile application that pulls from 1,700 news sources, converting text-based news you choose into audio.
"We've created a real-time news engine that scours these sources based on your preferences," Atkinson says, calling it the Pandora Internet Radio
"It automatically collects stories from the web's top news sites and blogs, and transforms them into audio. You can listen to them while you get things done," says Atkinson, of Mason. "It's a safe way to get news; and it's just a fun product."
Through BuzzVoice, you can chose the publications you're most interested in; they're organized into 59 categories, ranging from technology to gossip.
Launched nearly four years ago, the BuzzVoice app costs $3.99. It's available for most smart phones including Android and iPhone, Ipod Touch, and MP3 players. There's also a desktop application.
Living up to its name, BuzzVoice has generated plenty of buzz. It's been featured in top technology and innovation publications including Mashable, MacWorld, Forbes
and Fast Company
. It's also been a featured app in the Apple, Amazon and Verizon app stores.
The growing prevalence of smart phones (they make up 50 percent of all new phones sold), and emergence of voice activated apps like the iPhones ubiquitous Siri makes apps like BuzzVoice a more natural choice, Atkinson says.
"We're definitely at a tipping point," he says. "There is a lot going on in the mobile space; voice is the killer app for mobile."
By Feoshia Henderson
Follow Feoshia on Twitter