I am in favor of any tool that saves me from listening to voicemail on a phone. I use CallWave (review) on my cellular line to shunt voice mails to my e-mail, and I've been using GotVoice (review) on my home phone for the same purpose. GotVoice, to date, has been a bit of a hack: It got your voice mails by dialing up your voice mail, just as you did, and then entering the right touch tones so your messages would play, which it then recorded and sent to you. Pure replacement voice-mail systems (like CallWave, SpinVox, and … Read more
Despite SunRocket's recent implosion, venture capitalists are hot to invest in voice over IP start-ups.
A company called Jaxtr announced Tuesday that it's raised $10 million. The company, which hopes to emulate the success of eBay's Skype, actually attracted some of the same investors as Skype. Draper Richards, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mangrove Capital, all early stage investors in Skype, contributed to Jaxtr's first round of funding.
Jaxtr is one of a growing number of IP telephony start-ups hoping to make it big. These companies are leaning more toward Skype's business model as a complementary … Read more
One of the more obvious features lacking from the iPhone has been voice recognition, especially since the iPhone is sans an actual keypad. Well the folks over at VoiceSignal have apparently developed a couple of "proof-of-concept" voice command applications and managed to transfer them over to the iPhone. VSearch lets you search for certain keywords, and VTunes lets you bring up your favorite band/artist on the music player just by saying the name. Thankfully, VoiceSignal has recorded a couple of YouTube videos demonstrating the applications, as seen here. We're curious to see if this takes off … Read more
Several readers blasted me for my blog post last week about the Skype outage. I assumed that many of the people using Skype's messaging and voice over IP service didn't rely on the service for their primary form of communication. But several people pointed out that many small businesses use Skype to communicate with clients, employees and partners.
These comments got me thinking about this segment of the market. And now I'm working on a story that will take a look at how small businesses use free communications services like Skype instead of products that they would … Read more
Vlingo is a new mobile voice service launching today. It centers around a small Java app that lets you talk into your handset to create a text message instead of using your phone's keypad. The service is its own SMS client, piggybacking off your phone to send the message, although it forgoes using your phone's native SMS app, or word dictionary. In addition to texting, Vlingo is launching with voice to text services for mobile music stores and mapping services. The maps come courtesy of Yahoo, and can be zoomed and navigated just like accessing the mobile version … Read more
We've told you about Callwave already, but now we've had the opportunity to put the company's Vtxt application through its paces. Vtxt takes spoken voice mail messages and converts them into text. When someone calls and leaves you a voice mail, Vtxt will send you a text message and an e-mail with a transcript. You don't get the message word-for-word; rather, Vtxt gives you the gist of the message so you can understand what the person said.
The result is a useful and user-friendly service. Both the text message and e-mail arrive within seconds, so you … Read more
Under normal circumstances we wouldn't get too worked up over a voice recorder, but we can't resist anything that even remotely looks like a puzzle. Olympus' "Voice Trek V-41," which goes for about $140 in Japan, reveals its USB plug when pulled apart. But it's got only 512MB of memory, which SlashGear notes isn't much for the price. If you're really that bored at work, you might be better off buying a recorder with more storage and bringing your Transformer toys to the office separately.
Skype's service appears to be up and running again for the most part, after software issues Thursday prevented millions of Skype users from signing on to the IP telephony application.
Skype officials say the outage was not due to a cyberattack or network upgrades. Instead they attributed the issue to "a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user's own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network."
As of 11 a.m. GMT Friday, the company said that the software had started to stabilize. Some users have … Read more
Internet Protocol telephony player Vonage is still hanging on, but the company, which has been mired in a nasty patent battle with Verizon Communications, is teetering on disaster as it struggles to sign up new customers.
Vonage said Thursday during its second-quarter conference call that it has completed the necessary work-arounds for the Verizon patents that a court found it infringes, but the legal drama has cost the company dearly in terms of recruiting new customers.
Jeffrey Citron, the company's interim CEO, told investors and analysts the company had substantially completed deployments of work-arounds for two of the three … Read more
What do Ashton Kutcher and voice over IP technology have in common?
Kutcher, best known for his role on That '70s Show and MTV's reality show Punk'd, is "creative director" for a Silicon Valley start-up called Ooma, which has developed a device that will allow users to make free VoIP calls to any phone in the U.S.
The company, which has $27 million in funding, officially announced itself Thursday.
Unlike Vonage, which requires users pay a monthly flat rate for domestic calling, or Skype, which charges users a low-cost fee to make or accept calls … Read more