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Speech Technologies: October 01, 2010 eNewsletter
October 01, 2010

StartTalking Smartphone App Minimizes Distractions While Driving

By Deepika Mala, TMCnet Contributor

StartTalking, the world's first smartphone application that lets motorists keep their eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel, has been launched by AdelaVoice.

The issue of distracted driving throughout the entire process of composing, sending and receiving text messages, removing the visual and physical distractions normally associated with text messaging is very well addressed by StartTalking.

The fact that StartTalking is completely hands and eyes free separates it from any other solution, said AdelaVoice officials. It eliminates any touching or looking at the mobile phone. Certain hands-free features are also offered by today's existing text messaging applications, but ultimately require visual or physical interaction to initiate, compose, review, edit, or send text messages. StartTalking eliminates those interactions and operates with the mobile phone's display screen off, further reducing distractions while enhancing battery life.

StartTalking is entirely voice-controlled, where the users simply need to speak commands, dictate messages and listen to messages without having to touch a single button or look at a screen. The users of StartTalking speak their phone's pre-assigned name, which "wakes up" the handset and initiates a dialog through which the user dictates and sends text messages.

StartTalking is now available for download from the Android (News - Alert) Market. It is currently in open beta and works with smartphones running Android 2.0 or higher. The application works with wired headsets or the Android handset’s speakerphone function.

"We created StartTalking to minimize the physical and visual interactions normally associated with creating, sending and receiving text messages," Chris Hassett, AdelaVoice CEO, said in a statement. "We believe that it is every driver's responsibility to stay alert and minimize distractions while driving. When used properly, StartTalking can be an excellent tool to help drivers meet these responsibilities."

StartTalking, in addition to sending traditional text messages, also supports creating audio recordings in a user's voice and sends them through AdelaVoice's Short Voice Service to any mobile smartphone. The message is then heard by the recipient in the sender's own voice. A very personal way to extend text messaging is represented by SVS messages.

"The distractions that mobile phones can cause drivers are fairly well understood and have prompted formal restrictions in several states,” said Shiv Bakhshi, founder and principal analyst of Mobile Perspectives. “Any technology or solution that helps minimize such distraction should find a welcome audience."

In technology related news, Pinger (News - Alert), the app developer, since March 2009, has been providing Apple users with free phone numbers and text messaging services through the startup company’s increasingly popular Textfree application.

Deepika Mala is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf


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