Cogi: Capture, Transcribe and Share Phone Meetings

Earlier December saw the launch of Cogi (pronounced co-jee), an audio recording and transcription service in the mould of QTech’s reQall and SkyDeck, bringing a potentially a valuable note taking tool for web workers.

The US-based service enables users to capture the audio content of any phone call or conference calls in their entirety for later transcription to text by the service. Users can also markup parts of the call for particular emphasis during the transcription process. Apparently marking up such segments of a call is as simple as hitting a touchtone keypad to issue stop and start commands, though I’m sure a visual aid to this would be a welcome future addition.

Indeed, the service derives its name from ‘cogent ideas’, the parts of conversations that seem to be the most important.

Like reQall, the service is using a combination of speech-to-text technology and human assistance to produce accurate transcripts. However what’s probably more useful than the transcript itself are the implications of a digitized record of audio conversations. All of a sudden, a previously transitory and inert medium becomes searchable, sharable and intrinsically more valuable. Of course there are privacy implications in recording calls, but no more complex than existing issues in retaining phone calls.

At $30/month for 1000 minutes it’s a pricey service, but perhaps the company has inadvertently developed a ‘Gmail for voice’. Regardless, additional price tiers may be neccessary to encourage casual use and wider adoption.

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