Drivers may watch TV, browse the Web, or even make a sandwich while behind the wheel, but mobile phones have firmly retained their status as king of the road where distractions are concerned. Acknowledging that reality, the wireless "Bluetouch" system at least tries to lessen the dangers of dialing behind the wheel with a large touch screen that seems much easier (and therefore safer) to use than a handset keypad that requires you to avert your eyes.
You know all those commercials touting car stereos that respond to voice commands? Now you can do the same irritating thing even if you don't drive.
Other companies have toyed with building this feature directly into MP3 devices as a proprietary technology, but One Voice Technologies has developed software that it says will work with various music players. "VoiceTunes" plays nice with both iTunes and Windows Media Player, the company says, "allowing you to play music by simply saying the artist name, album, genre, or your favorite playlist."
Just what we need. In addition to … Read more
Wireless operators hope all-you-can-eat pricing will prove appetizing to consumers still using their landlines.
The new pricing model could also help them in the protracted battle for customers with the cable industry.
Two weeks ago, Verizon Wireless was the first major U.S. wireless operator to announce a $99.99 unlimited voice plan. Within days, AT&T and T-Mobile followed with their own plans. And last week, Sprint Nextel announced its plan, which also includes unlimited data and a slew of premium wireless services.
These new plans naturally appeal to today's heaviest cell phone users. Road warriors who … Read more
SpinVox, a United Kingdom-based voice-to-text specialist that in October introduced support for "microblogging" networks such as Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce, has launched a plug-in for BlackBerry handsets.
Called SpinVox Voicemail, the service identifies the caller and converts the voice message into text or e-mail or both. (The message remains audible.)
SpinVox users then have the option to reply by e-mail, voice, or SMS text message. The monthly cost of the service is based on the number of voice-to-text conversions used: there's a 10-conversion package available for about $6, a 20-conversion package for about $10, and a 50-conversion … Read more
I'm having a hard time appreciating Jaxtr's latest service, Cafe Jaxtr. It's a "talk network," where you can find people who are interested in certain topics, and then phone them to chat. If you have hobbies, and like people calling you out of the blue to talk about them, you can set up your own profile page so they can reach you.
The thing I don't get is why anyone would want this, but apparently I'm either too old or too antisocial to dig it. Konstantin Guericke, Jaxtr's chief executive officer, says … Read more
This is one phone that we think should be banned from the U.S. market--or, at least, from any households with teenagers. But that would seem to be the marketing target for this Chinese-made item, given the teddy bear (or whatever it is) on the receiver.
On the surface it's as basic as a phone can possibly be these days, almost a throwback that even has a cord. Except for one key feature: It has a built-in voice-changing technology. SlashGear says it can even make one sound like the opposite sex, which would undoubtedly come in handy for schoolkids … Read more
T-Mobile USA said Thursday it's testing a new Internet telephony service in Dallas and Seattle that will replace consumers' wireline home phone service.
Subscribers will be able to connect any regular home telephone to a T-Mobile router that will send calls over the Internet much the same way as services like Vonage operate. The service costs $10 a month plus taxes and fees for unlimited domestic local and long distance calls. But customers also have to be signed up for a T-Mobile wireless service costing at least $39.99 a month. The required router, which also provides access to … Read more
In-car voice recognition still has some way to go before it replaces buttons, dials, and good old fashioned manual programming. However, a few automakers are taking the lead in creating in-car interfaces that are easy to use. Among our favorites are Acura and Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes, and now--thanks to the launch of the Microsoft Sync system--Ford. Check out our roundup of cars you can talk to with a good chance of being understood.
Sprint Nextel and Verizon Communications both see an opportunity to make a buck on their IP telephony patents after successfully suing Vonage Holdings last year.
On Thursday, Sprint Nextel said in a U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kan., that it was suing four small phone companies. Sprint alleges that Nuvox Communication, BroadVOX Holdings, Big River Telephone, and Paetec Communications are infringing on six of its patents.
Those patents, part of a larger portfolio of patents that cover voice over IP technology owned by Sprint, are the same ones used to successfully sue Vonage. The two companies eventually settled the … Read more
Well, that's one way to do it. After having lost so badly to Apple in the Walkman World it once dominated, Sony is at least making some music with alternative devices. But its latest player is one we never saw coming: a dictation recorder.
Tech Digest says it has only 1GB or 2GB of built-in storage, so you may still want to hang onto your regular MP3 player--after all, you'll presumably want to use some of that space for voice recording too. But it looks a lot better than other attempts by Sony, most notably the "Walkman Bean.&… Read more