Speak your mind with Twitterfone

8 May 2008

For the cost of a local phone call users of micro-blogging service Twitter can now speak their tweets using a new voice-to-text service, Twitterfone,

The service was launched yesterday with the backing of tech entrepreneur and CEO of Cubic Telecom, Pat Phelan.

Twitterfone is simple to set up and simple to use. Once a user registers their Twitter username with the service, they will be assigned a phone number and will be able to ring Twitterfone for the price of a local phone call, leave a voice message and hang up when finished.

Less than ten minutes later, a text version of the message appears in the Twitter timeline, complete with a link to the audio version. For the moment, voice tweets cannot be directed at individuals or left privately.

Although many Twitter users already use their mobile to update on the go, Phelan said sometimes there is not enough time to stop and tap out a message: “Right now the million active users of Twitter use cell phones or computers to send and receive short bursts of texts to each other.

“Millions of messages each day are sent like this but while Twitter is one of the truly mobile social networks out there, there are times when users on the move cannot stop what they are doing to key in a message.”

While the Geneva-based VOX telecom is supplying the call routing for the service, the voice-to-text recognition is provided by Dublin company Dial2Do.

“Projections are that mobiles will become the dominant way of accessing the internet, and a lot of this will be done via voice interfaces,” said Dial2Do CEO, Ivan MacDonald.

And just in case you’re worried about how accurate the voice-to-text feature is, I threw the word ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ at it and it didn’t even blink.

Currently Twitterfone is in beta testing and requires an invitation code to sign up, so Twitterers must put their names on a list for an invite.

By Marie Boran