I talked with Vlingo CEO Dave Grannan prior to their announcement of Vlingo last week, and was pretty pumped for the product – after all, voice activation on your BlackBerry is a pretty awesome idea. Although the launch has encountered a few bumps, and I’m still training Vlingo like a naughty puppy to recognize my authority, our talk still gives you a run-through of what Vlingo is about and what kind of future features we can expect in the future. I for one still hold a lot of hope for the application, even though it’s not running perfectly just yet.
“Vlingo for BlackBerry is the first release of our voice user interface product, the idea being just with the power of your voice, you can control many of the features of your BlackBerry. With Vlingo for BlackBerry, just by pushing the side button and speaking, users will be able to speak an SMS message. We’ll take your voice to our servers, translate the speech to text, send it back to the BlackBerry, pull up your SMS application, pull the recipient out of your phone book, put him on the ‘To:’ line, and type the words that you spoke in the body of the message. The user can look at it, verify it’s all correct and press ‘Send’. It really is about the process of discovery and usability; your voice finds and launches the application, and with the power of your voice you can just speak what you want. With Vlingo for BlackBerry, users will be able to speak text messages, speak e-mails, to do web searches, to open applications like their contacts and calendar, to dial names, and one of my favourite features is Note2Self. I can say ‘Note to self, remember to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home.’ and I can configure that in my Options setting to either add a task or add a memo, or send myself an SMS or e-mail. We just translate your speech to text, and add it as a reminder for you.”