Share on Facebook
April 3, 2008
Imagine this: Voice is getting more important on phones. Seems like news of the obvious, but vocalizing is getting interesting twists at a show for wireless services in Las Vegas.
Yahoo announced an upgrade to its mobile search, including spoken queries. Users download software to their phones and can simply voice their questions, although the service so far works only with a few BlackBerry devices.
Or read your request through almost any wireless handset to a new service from an outfit called ChaCha. You have to dial ChaCha's free service at 1-800-2-CHACHA, but it promises to answer just about any question in a conversational manner. Anything, according to the ChaCha folks, that can be answered with a Web search and sent back as a text message.
And AT&T launched its cellphone navigation service, which is the first on a mobile phone that works with voice commands. Press a button, speak an address, and get directions read back to you.
Share on Facebook
April 2, 2008
A bit of refreshing news amid the hoopla over sophisticated, multifunction cellphones taking over the world: a simple phone for seniors. The ClarityLife will operate with a big screen, big text, four simple buttons, and amplified sound.
That covers the sight, touch, and hearing that fade as we get older. And as a bonus, the phone is no clunker. The simplicity lends itself to a clean, sleek look.
A keypad does slide out when needed. That's about as complicated as it gets. No camera, GPS, messaging, music, video, or the other features being lathered onto ever smaller handsets.
ClarityLife does add one interesting feature, an emergency button on the back of the phone. Hit the recessed red button and the phone starts dialing five preset contacts, cycling through until it reaches someone. A siren sounds on the phone to make sure the owner knows the emergency calls are underway.
The phone comes from a division of Plantronics called Clarity, which sells other communications products for the aging population. Clarity says it doesn't have pricing yet for the phone, which won't be available until late summer. But ClarityLife will come without a long-term contract, another nice touch of simplicity.