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Voice to text dictation from any cell phone

Work & Lifestyle

Turning any cell phone into an eager personal scribe, Jott transforms spoken messages into text. After signing up for the service online and validating their phone number and email address, users dial Jott’s toll free number (877-568-8486), say ‘me’ or the name of a contact or group of contacts, speak for up to 30 seconds and then hang up. Jott transcribes the spoken words into writing, and sends the message to its destination as an email or text message. Transcription usually takes a few minutes, or up to 20 minutes during peak hours. The original audio message is retained, and is linked to in the email for reference. The service is deceptively simple, and lends itself to countless applications. It can be used to leave notes to oneself, from a reminder to buy a carton of milk, to capturing a brilliant idea. Or to draft emails, memos, or the next chapter of a novel while driving home from work. Lawyers and doctors, accustomed to speaking their correspondence and notes, can dictate on the fly. Intriguingly, Jott has humans transcribing voice messages. Since phones are often used in noisy environments, and Jott’s founders didn’t want members to have to train speech recognition software, Jott uses a mix of machines and overseas agents that also work on medical dictations. For privacy protection, agents have no way of associating personally identifiable information with the recorded jotts they’re transcribing (unless a user makes that information part of the recording). Jott is currently free, but will at one point offer members the choice between a free, ad-supported version, or a premium version for a fee. Which could bring in tidy revenues, since this is exactly the type of service that users are more than willing to pay for once they’ve incorporated it into their daily routine. Jott is only available in the United States and Canada. So, partner with them and/or set up your own local version. Offshore outsourcing will be more difficult if your language is, say, Swedish or Japanese, but that’s a challenge to overcome. And if you work in (mobile) telecom, we’re sure you can come up with a few interesting implications and appealing opportunities. Spotted by: Jason Williams



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