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Doing more with voice commands

21 Sep 2011

Headset vendor Plantronics is looking to give consumers more reason to use their products, offering a new voice command service with its latest model.

The cloud-based service, Vocalyst, allows users to utilise voice commands to perform a variety of basic actions, including sending and listening to emails and text messages, hearing news, sports and weather reports, posting Facebook and Twitter updates, and recording and listening to reminders.

Peter Petrides, Plantronics’ ANZ national retail manager, says his company is looking to grow the consumer market.

"We need to give people better reasons to use headsets,” Petrides says.

"When glasses first came out, they were attached to the end of a stick and you held them up to your eyes. It took thirty years before someone realised you could wear them on your face, and now it’s finally becoming seen as something that’s stylish and fashionable.”

Petrides says there are already several factors pushing the headset market, including restrictions on using cellphones while driving, and the fact that new phones are usually designed to optimise the use of the flat screen, making them awkward to talk into.

Vocalyst is designed to build on these drivers. The service is powered by Dial2Do, and is supported with apps for Android and Blackberry, with an iOS app on the way in coming months. News and sports updates can be selected from RSS feeds from various websites.

The service is free for two years with the purchase of Plantronics’ new Savor M1100 headset, which retails for $149. A premium service, Vocalyst Pro, is also available for US$39 per year. 

Go here for more on Plantronics, or here for a video on the Vocalyst system.