In more BlackBerry news, Microsoft subsidiary Tellme has launched an application for smartphones that lets users speak a query into their handsets to get results such as driving directions or weather info.
According to Tellme, users simply hold down the “talk” button on their handsets, say a keyword and the results appear on the phone’s screen. Initially, the voice-enabled app will only be available on BlackBerrys, but the company says it plans to roll it out to future versions of Helio handsets, Windows-based smartphones and even Apple’s iPhone.
“Tellme believes in the power of voice to transform how people use devices,” said Mike McCue, founder and general manager of Tellme, in a statement. “As opposed to Web-search services, Tellme focuses on specific tasks where the request leads to a specific answer – like a movie show time, weather info or driving directions.”
Tellme claims that while new user interfaces such as touchscreens make accessing information and services on handsets much easier, in a company-led task completion comparison, it took 29 touches vs. 29 keystrokes vs. two voice requests to find Amici’s Pizza in Mountain View, Calif. The company also claims “the ability to speak a request…provides a more natural, intuitive process for viewing and navigating results.”