Windows Mobile 6.5 Devices Will Listen and Obey

tellme_logoMicrosoft might not be creating a Zune Phone, but they are going to offer voice control features into Windows Mobile 6.5. The features won’t be natively integrated into the mobile operating system, but instead will become available as a free download to Windows Mobile 6.5 phones after the handsets become available. According to the press release, that will be sometime in the fall of 2009.

This effort is the direct result of Microsoft’s purchase of TellMe in 2007. The independent subsidiary still offers their service to other platforms as well: about a year ago we saw TellMe’s voice search arrive on BlackBerry devices.

Once installed, Windows Mobile 6.5 users can hit a hardware button to start TellMe’s service and then:

  • Send a text by saying “text” to open a text box, then speak the text message and send to call anyone in their contact list
  • Initiate a call simply by saying “call” and then the name of anyone in their contact list
  • Search the web with Microsoft Live Search by speaking your request, such as “weather in San Francisco, California”, “Pizza in Kansas City” or “Mother’s Day gift ideas.”
Although the free software will be available for download, Microsoft will also offer it at no charge to carriers who, in turn, could bundle it with handsets and make it a native function to the device. I’m all for this development, because in the right environment it can be far faster to speak than it is to type on a small keyboard.
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