Don't know about you, but personally, I have often fumbled around trying to snooze the alarm clock, and then ended up having to get up from bed because I pushed it off the table to a place I couldn't reach. Moments like that I wish I could just tell the alarm to shut the hell up.
Well, you can now do just that with what Moshi introduced on Monday. It's called Moshi IVR Clock and it could well be the first fully functional voice-responsive alarm clock.
You can use your voice to set the clock time and … Read more
Search is inextricably woven into the use of computers, but it's still a relative rarity when it comes to the mobile phone market.
That's why I was keen to try Yahoo's attempt to make the technology more approachable through its free voice-controlled search product, OneSearch with Voice. My overall assessment after trying it on a BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Yahoo lent to me: the software is useful, but it whetted my appetite more than it actually transformed my life.
To use OneSearch with Voice, you hold down your phone's "talk" button and speak a few words into the phone. The phone sends what you said to Yahoo servers that convert it into text and run a search tailored for mobile phone users. Whereupon, the results and sometimes an accompanying ad appear on the phone.
It didn't always produce the right answer, but it did so often enough and easily enough that I found myself turning to the application more and more frequently. And its textual results were more useful for me than Google's 1-800-GOOG-411 voice-only search service.
There's no secret why Yahoo is eager for the market: mobile search is growing fast and is a powerful conduit for targeted advertising.
Google long since passed Yahoo for search on personal computers, but the mobile market is relatively immature--and it's growing fast. From June 2007 to June 2008, "the number of people accessing mobile search at least once a week grew 50 percent in Europe, with France and Spain leading at a rate of 69 percent and 63 percent, respectively," according to ComScore analyst Alistair Hill, and the number in the U.S. grew 104 percent to 10 million. But Google leads Yahoo by a wide margin for mobile search usage in the U.S., U.K., Italy, France, Spain, and Germany.
So how's does OneSearch with Voice stack up?
What's good The best thing about the service, far and away, is that it frees you from your phone's keyboard. Even on finger-friendly phones such as the BlackBerry, typing is a pain. With voice control, you can run searches much more easily.
I'll plead the Fifth about whether I tried OneSearch while driving, but there are other times when one-handed typing on a phone keypad is difficult. One early aha moment came while I was walking through the rain holding an umbrella. Another was lugging a bag through the airport. With OneSearch with Voice, I could have my say, then check back after a few moments to see if the phone fetched what I wanted rather than trying to pay attention to typing and walking at the same time. … Read more
In some ways, Skype's latest offering takes a step back, but in many, it's a jump forward. In version 4.0, Skype's VoIP app for text, audio, and video calls refocuses on Skype's core competency (and most formidable challenge) of delivering high-quality audio and video calls over the Internet. A new sound engine and bandwidth manager helps keep calls clearer and more stable as talkers reach out across the world, using the spectrum of high- and low-end equipment. The improved sound and video quality were notable in our tests.
Many of Skype's secondary features remain … Read more
How would you like to have your own secretary for taking and delivering voice messages? It sure beats slogging through your phone's voice mail menu, especially if you're short on time or if you want to quickly refer to a saved message.
YouMail's new transcription service, launched from beta on Thursday, adds a (premium) human touch to its otherwise free "visual voice mail" service. In addition to receiving automated transcriptions of cell phone voice messages online, YouMail users can now pay for real people to transcribe their messages and send the gist through SMS or … Read more
In this episode, we pack a lot of content into a relatively small amount of time.
First off, Eric has his nerd cred questioned because of a Warcraft comment made in a previous episode, and Dong discusses making love, not Warcraft.
Serious business then as Dong presents another PSA: how to be on the lookout for fake antivirus software.
Then, can being left-handed be equated with being gay? Not usually, but Dong finds a way to connect them. Then, getting drunk. Dong tells a "scary" Halloween story about puking in a bucket.
Thanks to a resourceful reader, we … Read more
Every once in a while, usually on a Friday, I get into something incredibly addicting and distracting. Today is one of those days. If you're like me (and gods help you) and you like to manipulate your voice in different ways--you know, to freak your cats or even your wife/girlfriend--Smule has come up with something cool to make your Friday go by faster.
What a difference a month makes. In September, we couldn't find a single voice-recording app for the iPhone that would work with the headset input included on the second-generation iPod Touch. I took a look around the iTunes App Store today and found that seven of of the 13-plus iPhone voice-memo apps now list themselves as compatible with the second-generation iPod Touch. Here's the list, so far:SpeakEasy Voice Recorder from Zarboo Software QuickVoice Recorder from nFinity Recorder from Retronyms Note2Self from Web Information Solutions iRecorder from Simple Touch Software YouNote from Sophiacom iTalk Recorder by Griffin
If … Read more
On Tuesday, HP added two new iPaq smartphones to its portfolio. But before you go getting too attached, you should know that for the time being, they'll only be available in Europe. Partnering with Vodafone, the HP iPaq Data Messenger and the HP iPaq Voice Messenger will first be offered in the United Kingdom and then eventually make their way to the rest of Europe.