Android texting app requires no hands

StartTalking, free from AdelaVoice, lets users speak an SMS and send it without touching anything

A free Android application to be unveiled on Thursday at the Mobilize conference in San Francisco will let mobile phone users send and receive text messages without touching or looking at the phone.

AdelaVoice, a Boston startup, developed the StartTalking app primarily to solve the problem of distracted driving, according to Chairman and CEO Chris Hassett. Texting while driving has been linked to driver distraction and accidents and is illegal in some places.

To use SMS (Short Message System) with StartTalking, the user wakes up the phone by calling it by a pre-assigned name, then speaks the message and commands the phone to send it. StartTalking guides the user through the process with computerized voice commands and reads back the message as the software has understood it so the user can confirm it is correct.

AdelaVoice, founded just this year, claims StartTalking is the only text-messaging application that can be used completely without the user's hands or eyes. It can operate with the phone's screen off and can work with a headset or in speakerphone mode. It doesn't require an in-car hands-free system to use. The idea is that a driver can send and receive messages without even looking away from the road.

There have been other attempts to convert text-messaging to voice. Earlier this year, Google introduced a texting function as part of its Voice Actions for Android lineup, but that tool requires the user to tap a screen button to start Voice Actions and view the message to edit it.

Another feature of StartTalking, called SVS (Short Voice Service), can record and send spoken messages. The voice message comes to the recipient as an attachment to a standard text message. In the future, AdelaVoice will allow voice messages to be sent using MMS (Multimedia Message System), Hassett said. AdelaVoice plans to expand StartTalking so it can be used to compose e-mail, calendar entries and social networking updates.

StartTalking is based on AdelaVoice Conversation Services, a software platform the includes components both on the phone and in a computing cloud. Using open APIs (application programming interfaces), third parties such as social networking services could extend their applications to use the StartTalking voice interface.

AdelaVoice uses Google's speech recognition engine through a partnership. Any third-party application that works with Voice Actions for Android will also work with the StartTalking interface.

The free version of StartTalking includes texting, voice dialing and navigation system commands. Other features will work on a premium version, which AdelaVoice expects to introduce in the first quarter of next year for a one-time cost of less than US$20, Hassett said.

The app runs on Android 2.0 and higher versions and is available immediately in an open beta test, which AdelaVoice expects to conclude by year's end.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilesmartphonesGoogletelecommunicationPhonesGoogle AndroidPhone applicationsAdelaVoice

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?