Monday, 12th March 2007
Talk: Microsoft Acquires Tellme and a Compilation of Other Voice Activated Search Services and Information
UPDATE: Tellme Acquired by Microsoft (via News.com)
Sources say Microsoft near deal to buy TellMe (via News.com)
TellMe has been around for many years and in recent week's they've been the talk of an acquisition by Microsoft. TellMe not only licenses it's voice activated technology but also offers several free, telephone services including the recently released directory assistance feature. They also offer news, weather, sports scores, etc. To access tell me, simply dial 1-800-555-TELL. The service is free but (of course) phone charges might apply. They are also beta testing an SMS (text message) directory service, similar to what many others offer. For example, 4INFO.net.
A few weeks ago, local search guru, Greg Sterling, introduced VSearch, another voice activated local info search tool in a Search Engine Land post.
Speak Your Search
+ See Also: PhoneGnome
Many features are free while others like the voice activated dialing require the PhoneGnome box. One feature, Dial 2.0 uses Tellme technology to offer voice activated dialing. Dial 2.0 requires the PhoneGnome box while other features do not. Here's a screen cap with a list of some PhoneGnome features and a link to more screencaps. The PhoneGnome/Tellme deal was announced about 2 weeks ago.
See Also: Two other Phone Services We've Recently Posted About are GrandCentral and PrivatePhone.com (free in-bound only) phone number in most area codes for voice mail.
+ Many carriers offer Voice Activated Dialing, Three Examples:
++ T-Mobile (by phone)
Real time traffic information.
+ NY, NJ, CT
Bridge and Tunnel Info
1-646-TRAFFIC (1-646 872 3342)
Say the name of a bridge or tunnel and we’ll get you up-to-the-minute conditions on any of the tri-state area crossings.
+ U.S. Master Clock
(202) 762-1401, (202) 762-1069, or (719) 567-6742.
More Free Directory Assistance Services
If you don't mind an ad, free directory assistance, 1-800-373-3411.
Another free directory assistance service.
See Also: Ready Reference: Interesting & Useful Telephone Numbers and Telephone Services
Including a link to a database that helps you QUICKLY access a person (yes, a human being) when the automated service just doesn't cut it. Plus, a full helping of consumer assistance toll-free numbers.
See Also: Video: A Look at Microsoft’s Interactive Voice Response Technology
More From Microsoft in this Post
++ MS Speech Server
++ Q&A: The Future of Speech Technologies
++ Microsoft Speech Research
++ Article: Microsoft Research Spawns a New Era in Speech Technology: Simpler, Faster, and Easier Speech
Application Development (via PC AI, 2003)
See Also: Google’s Speech Recognition Guru Speaks During 15 Minute Podcast Interview
SimonSays, V-Enable, Promptu and MobileVoice/One Voice, and Where2GetIt.
Demo University of Toronto: Vocal Village
See Also: Interview With Tellme CEO, Mike McCue (2/12/2007) via Kelsey Group Blog