A Microsoft subsidiary has announced the planned release of some pretty neat software. Think of it as Voice Command on steroids. After pressing a single button you’ll be able to say what you want and get it like send a text, make a phone call, get the weather, search for information, etc. Here are some examples:
– Send a text message by saying “text” to open a text box and then speak the text and sent it to anyone in your contacts
– Search the web with Live Search just by speaking a request like “weather in San Francisco, California” or “pizza in Kansas City”
– Say “Call Doug Smith” to call Doug
It also works for stocks, sports scores, movies and traffic and it can be linked to your GPS so it will know your location. In the end you won’t even need to use your touch screen (see, I knew they had a work around for not supporting capacitive screens;)). The ability to send texts (no email?) entirely by voice any looking to make a hands-free control is something I’m looking forward to. And Microsoft is aiming squarely at the iPhone this time and their release states:
In a head-to-head comparison, it is clear why people prefer voice over touch. For example, it requires four touches and more than 20 keystrokes to find a business with the Apple iPhone, while it only takes one button push and one verbal command to find the same business with Tellme. Tellme’s research shows similar results for other tasks, such as making calls, sending text messages and conducting searches for content such as traffic, movies, news and sports.
This is noted as being available in Windows Marketplace for WM 6.5 (I’m sure we’ll find a way to get it onto 6.1 though;)). You can test it out now by calling 1-800-555-TELL. I tried getting my weather and it knew my location (based on the number I called from) and gave me the forecast. With a bit of irony that Microsoft will never understand, if you have a Blackberry you can download the beta now so Windows users are on hold again. It’s unclear if things like voice recognition are happening on the server side or on the phone side but to be effective (fast) I’d hope that it would to be happening locally on the phone but based on the fact that texts are included and emails are not it’s probably an indication that it’s server side (similar to some apps out there already like Vlingo).
You can get more information and watch a little video on Tellme’s website.