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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 29, 2009 at 9:15 AM

New voice technology for mobile phones from Microsoft’s TellMe

Update 2:00 p.m.: Here’s a video demo of the new TellMe service.

I have a voice-activated dialing button on my Blackberry Pearl that I never use. To set it up I would have to record the name of a contact I want to dial by voice. It’s clunky and one step too many. The function also uses a prime button on the side of my phone, so I often accidentally activate it when I pick up the handset.

TellMe, a Microsoft subsidiary based in Mountain View, Calif., is launching a product today for mobile phones that would allow a user to speak commands into a phone without the setup — whether that’s calling a contact, dictating a text message and sending it to a friend or searching for a restaurant. Windows Mobile 6.5, when that’s ready this fall, will include the voice technology.

The challenge for TellMe, and all Windows Mobile products, is to get wireless carriers to buy in and get it installed on that carrier’s devices so the service is readily accessible through a single button.

TellMe is best known for providing automated customer-service systems that allow callers to speak requests instead of punching in numbers or talking to a live operator.

(Video credit: TellMe)

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