Monday, 9 June 2008

Will "Jott" Help Break the Curse of the Crackberry?

Living in Europe, it's sometimes hard not to be envious of the technologies that are available to consumers and businesses in other parts of the world. One of the greatest examples of technology being used to increase productivity in recent years is Jott, which is currently only available in the US.

For those of you who don't yet know what Jott is, it's a service that transcribes speech into text allowing you the luxury of having a virtual PA. The service allows you to receive and read your emails on a Blackberry (or any other supported device) and then respond using your voice. Within about ten minutes your voice reply is transcribed into text and the email is sent. This means that if you're on the go you can even dictate notes and reminders to yourself and have them sent to you - thereby doubling up as a dictaphone. From what I hear the voice recognition is very precise and works well in North America.

Its greatest strength, however, is also its greatest weakness as developing voice recognition software for various markets is incredibly costly and difficult. At Eckoh, one of Europe's leading providers of voice recognition software for phone services, they identified more than 600 dialects and accents of English in Britain alone. Therefore it is highly doubtful that these services will ever make it across the pond in any form that is useful to European users. Just look at all of the software packages for PC that promise voice recognition. Some years ago I tried buying Dragon Naturally Speaking, but I could never get it to recognise my words as I don't have an American accent.

If you are in the US, however, I would definitely recommend giving Jott a go.

Visit Jott or read more about Jott and Blackberries. You can also read more about how you can use Jott for your personal notes at Gina Trapani's excellent Lifehacker blog.

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