Voice Recognition for Mobile Phones

Oh, right, voice recognition, the annoying application that makes you say the same word over and over, and still doesn't understand what you're trying to get done. Eventually, someone is going to get it right, and the latest candidate is Vlingo Mobile, a company that has created voice recognition software for mobile phones. A demo of the technology on the company's site certainly makes it seem appealing. You can compose text messages, conduct Internet searches and, of course, place calls without tapping those tiny keys. If you want to edit a search term, you highlight the word, then speak in a substitute.

Best of all, there shouldn't be much of a training period. Everything is done over the network, so instead of forcing each user to familiarize the program with his or her accent, the system compiles and learns from all the accents of all its users. In other words, as its user base grows, it's going to become even more efficient. Vlingo hasn't hooked up with any major carriers yet, and the system is limited to normal phones with the standard 12 keys, but you can download a beta version of the voice-activated search function if you want to test it out.—Gregory Mone