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Windows Mobile 6.5 gets Tellme voice features

Voice Command is one of those core features of Windows Mobile that's great to have, but it never has been quite easy enough to be a daily necessity for a lot folks. That all may be about to change with Tellme, which Microsoft bought a couple of years ago. It takes the versatility of Voice Command, sexes it up and puts it at the center of your user experience.

And it's coming to Windows Mobile 6.5, says Gizmodo.

Our Crackberry friends have had access to Tellme for a while now (as have owners of the Sprint Instinct). But starting with WM6.5, we'll have one-button access to phone dialing, text messages, Live Search, the works, and it'll be an integral part of the OS, it seems. (If it can do voice to text, that would be epic.) CNet notes that Tellme will take advantage of GPS and cell towers to localize searches.

Giz says Tellme will be free when Windows Mobile 6.5 launches, either from the Marketplace, or it'll be built in to the OS.

Check out the whole kit and kaboodle and be sure to hit up the promotional video.

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Reader comments

Windows Mobile 6.5 gets Tellme voice features

7 Comments

Different from Voice Command how?
"But starting with WM6.5, we'll have one-button access to phone dialing, text messages, Live Search, the works, and it'll be an integral part of the OS, it seems. "

Voice command doesnt allow you to dictate text messages or initiate web searches. Probably not because it cant but because like with most things related to WM the MS voice command team neglected to update and refine their product. Voice command does do a good job but having a more comprehensive and free app will be welcome. And seeing as MS seems to be solidly behind the app it will hopefully be updated regularly with new functionality.

One Button Access? What if your Windows Phone only has one button? :-P

"(If it can do voice to text, that would be epic.)" Come on, do a little diligence with your post before putting it up.

Tellme quite clearly claims to do this. It says "Voice to Text Messaging" right on the tellme page. In the video it also gives an example of someone speaking a text message, tellme converting it to text, and then all the speaker has to do is click send. In fact, it's the first example in the video.

Normally Voice command is available in every cellphone now a days what difference Tellme voice has from others. For skype or vopium call on Bold i enjoy voice commend feature its pretty fast.

I think you can't really compare TellMe to MS Voice Command. Voice Command is a client-side technology -- the voice recognition is done on the handheld and is only possible because the universe of things you can say is very limited -- a handful of command phrases, the names in your Contacts, and the media selections in you Windows Media library. Given those limitations, it's possible for a 4MB program to match a voice pattern to one of the limited number of options.

TellMe is a server-side technology -- the voice processing is done on the server, not the client. So this means it can happen very quickly, and the recognition vocabulary can be many thousands of words, not just a handful. We first saw this in Live Search for Windows Mobile, where by pressing the "Speak" button you can say a phrase and have it recognized and acted upon. What's happening behind the scenes is that the mobile device is making a compressed recording of your voice, zipping it up to a server over your data connection, getting a response back, and displaying or acting on that data. The fact that the recognition happens much faster on a giant server farm than it could on a Windows Mobile device somewhat makes up for the time lag of sending the recording up to the server.

I think Microsoft saw the writing on the wall for the inherent limitations of client-side technologies like Voice Command some time ago. (You'll notice that forward development on VC stopped about the same time that the "Speak" feature of Live Search went to beta.) So I think Microsoft has realized for some time that server-side recognition would be the wave of the future. What I don't know for certain -- but certainly hope -- is that TellMe for WM 6.5 will still include the native "offline" capabilities of Voice Command. It would suck not to be able to voice dial just because you didn't have a data connection. So my supposition is that this will be a hybrid technology with a mix of client-side and server-side processing as appropriate.

So TellMe sounds just like Nuance VoiceControl on the Palm OS: txt message dictation, appointments, "find ____ (business) in ___ (zip)" and so on all run via Server Side technology.

VoiceControl cost +$6/month though. Will this be free?