Tagged With speech-to-text

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


The problem with voice-enabled "intelligent" apps is that there are way too many that are just OK Siri wannabes. Some are limited in features, intelligence levels vary widely, and there's always one or two that have been hastily knocked together by opportunistic developers. Maluuba is a new virtual intelligence app that claims to be more than just a personal assistant -- and it has big plans to prove it's better than Siri.


iOS: The latest iPad received a global voice recognition feature for us in any app. The iPhone 4S, of course, has Siri. While there is no shortage of apps that translate your voice into the written word, most are limited by a few functions. Voice Assistant, on the other hand, will send the text it translates to pretty much any app. Additionally, it allows you to email, tweet and do a few other things without leaving the app at all.


iOS (Jailbroken): Siri, the iPhone 4S voice assistant/voice dictation system, has been locked out of other iOS 5 devices like the iPhone 4 and 3GS by Apple. Hackers have gotten it to work on the older phones in a proof-of-concept way, but nothing has been released that makes things work as well as the iPhone 4S Siri. But, if you want the voice dictation aspect, there's Siri0us.


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Android/BlackBerry: There are apps that read your email or SMS while you're driving (and DIY solutions), and apps that can send messages with your voice. DriveSafe.ly combines and automates the two for total voice-controlled messaging — and you can try it free.


Previously mentioned voice recording reminder service reQall has rolled out a BlackBerry version (there's already web and iPhone releases). While the software includes conventional text entry, the big selling point is the ability to record voice reminders, tasks or appointments. Those reminders can be emailed to you, both as a recording and as a transcription. The recognition and transcription definitely needs improvement -- the word 'Add' got rendered as 'Had' and failed to recognise an appointment; what I actually said in the screen grab was "Organise the posts for Lifehacker for the rest of the week"; and it later translated a feedback message saying "It's a shame that there's no Australian dial-in number" as "whether the shine that they no Australian doll in number". However, given my Aussie accent and customary high-speed garbling, it could have been worse.

Even when accurate, the transcription takes some time, and it'd be nice to have proper integration with the BlackBerry's own calendar and task list. But if you'd rather say it than type it while on the go, reQall may be worth a spin. reQall is free to download and sign up during its beta phase (don't use the record-to-call option unless you fancy paying for international phone calls).