Category Archives: Conferences

Clarity reveals Fortissimo speakerphone for folks with mobility issues (Engadget)

 

Clarity reveals Fortissimo speakerphone for folks with mobility issues — Engadget.

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InfoVision Awards : The Interview

Last post about Broadband World Forum Infovision Awards, we promise! As part of the awards process, Dial2Do CTO (Sean O Sullivan), did an interview with the Informa folks, and here it is.

Could you briefly describe what the product/service does?

The HandsFreeAssistant from Dial2Do is a phone service that targets drivers who would like to get more done, safely, while driving. From a consumer perspective, the service is simple: dial a local number, and speak to get things done.

Say “Text” to send a text message, “Email” to send an email, “listen to email” to hear your email, and so on. There are over forty services in Dial2Do, including twitter, reminders, google calendar, remember the milk, and more. Users love the fact that it lets them safely get more from their time in the car.

Behind the scenes of course, Dial2Do offers a voice platform that enables partners to rapidly voice-enable whatever they want – in effect to offer “voice as a service”. Our initial focus has been to partner with the manufacturers of Bluetooth / Handsfree hardware: Bluetooth headsets and car kits. They bundle the service directly with the hardware and offer the end user a fully “joined up” experience – out of the box.

To date, Dial2Do has announced partnerships with many of the world’s leading handsfree equipment brands, including Plantronics, Aliph/Jawbone, Jabra, EnusTech, and others. We’re also voice-enabling fantastic online services such as Evernote, enabling them to rapidly offer voice interaction to their 3M+ users. The platform is hosted, multilingual and extensible – so partners can choose the set of services they wish to offer, the branding and style they wish to use, and even the voice style and interface for user interactions.

What wider market trends do you hope to address with this product/service?

There are a few trends that are driving demand for the service.

  • Lots of people spending lots of time in the car: in many countries, including the US where we launched Dial2Do, there are a lot of people who commute regularly for 30-60 minutes per day, and would like to get more from their “driving time” than talk radio and phone calls.
  • Speech with everything: it’s becoming more common to see speech used as a core interface with many things, from iPod Nano’s to cars. People are more open to the idea of talking to your favourite web service now to get things done, whether it’s productivity stuff like email, calendars and reminders, or “fun” stuff like listening to twitter or your favourite news feeds as you drive.
  • Handsfree legislation: we’re seeing legislation roll out worldwide making it illegal to text or hold a phone while driving. As consumers go looking for handsfree solutions that enable them to comply with the new laws, they are looking for “value add. The HandsFreeAssistant from Dial2Do addresses a burgeoning consumer need to stay safely in touch with your favourite services while driving.
  • Everyone’s looking for value-add: in consumer electronics, such as in the Bluetooth headset and hands-free equipment market, many of the players are looking to engage in a deeper way with the end user. One of the great ways to do this is to offer compelling cloud-based services that “wrap around” the consumer electronics offering (think for example of how backup has become a kay value-add service for netbook and laptop providers). The HandsFreeAssistant gives Dial2Do partners a great own-brand way to create longer term engagement with the end user, who is often totally unknown to the manufacturer of these devices.

Why do you think your product/service was shortlisted by the judges?

One of the things that may have stuck out was our route to market. We’ve taken a voice service with a lot of functionality, and simplified it so that anyone can use it, and bundled it with consumer electronics from our headset and hands-free partners. It’s a genuine win-win for us, for the equipment partner and for the consumer, and is a little bit innovative in the market today.

In addition, perhaps they liked our roadmap of where we see things headed with voice: as you get more intelligence in both the phones and even the headsets. there is great potential to really orchestrate all the moving parts end to end to offer the end user a beautiful, Apple-like experience, beyond what they get today.

Finally, we’ve seen great feedback from users with the service to date, and we encouraged the judges to try it for themselves (there’s one month free trial when you register at http://www.dial2do.com). So who knows – maybe they tried it and liked it!

What major developments do you expect to witness in the broadband technology market over the five years?

The most obvious is the continued growth in mobile broadband, whether via dongles, “pucks” such as those announced by Clearwire recently in the US, or even via handsets-as-hotspots such as we’ve seen with Google and Android. Aside form that: bandwidth and increasingly, embedded broadband in everyday devices, including cars.

You can read all the nomination interviews here.

Kudos and Thanks : We won!

So – we won! Against formidable competition – the “SuperTankers of the Telecom World”  – we picked up the “Best New Service” award at the InfoVision Awards last night. And man, are we delighted! 🙂

An initial reaction – three things:

  1. We were honoured to have been nominated, and now are over the moon to have won. We really appreciate the fact that an industry panel judged us worthy. It means a lot to us, our customers and partners.
  2. The crew at Dial2Do have had a hectic year. We launched “for real” at CES in January. We quickly signed partners. We added features, billing, territories, languages. And more. So this award is (cliché alert) very much an acknowledgement of the team effort: massive Pats-on-Backs to all – “top job!”
  3. For anyone here at our Blog for the first time because you saw us at the awards and on the BBWF material, or heard about us on the innernet – welcome! We’re proud of the service – go to http://www.dial2do.com right now and try it out – for free – and let us know what you think! Follow us on twitter here or drop us a line.

The official release is here. The Eiffel Tower even put its sparkly dress on to congratulate us.

Wish Us Luck at InfoVision Awards Tonight!

Oui – c’est vrai! Dial2Do was nominated for a prestigious InfoVision Award at the BroadBand World Forum Conference that kicked off today in beautiful Paris. Well – tonight is awards ceremony night and Dial2Do will be at the event and hoping for the best. Of course, we’re already thrilled to be nominated in the Best New Service category – especially considering the other nominees in that category. And of course, since our nomination, we also announced the launch of Plantronics Savor M1100 with Vocalyst.

The awards take place on a boat – no less! Apparently hors d’oeuvres and a tipple (and much much more by the sounds of it) will be served while we hear the names of the lucky winners announced. A dirty job, but someone’s got to do it 🙂

Anyway – win or lose – the conference looks set to be a great event, and we’ll update here with any interesting news that catches our eye. We’re on not one, but two panels about developers, APIs and ecosystem on Thursday at the show, with Alan Quayle, and will be on the conference floor and at the sessions for the duration. For an example of Alan’s continued excellent work to motivate the telecom Industry – see this recent post from his blog.

Anyway – we’re here all week (longer – depending on the planned industrial action) so do drop a line if you fancy meeting up. Meanwhile: À tout à l’heure !

Dial2Do shortlisted for InfoVision award for Best New Service

Dial2Do’s HandsFreeAssistant was shortlisted yesterday for an InfoVision Award at the Broadband World Forum Conference to be held in Paris in October this year. We’re in the “Best New Service” category , and it would be fair to say that we’re thrilled skinny. Mind you, the competition is a little intimidating – the shortlist includes us and one or two Telco Brands you may have heard of:

  • Dial2Do – HandsFreeAssistant
  • Ericsson Inc. – Dynamic Open Access Solution
  • Huawei – Launching the Convergent Conferencing Service
  • Motorola – TD-LTE Shanghai
  • Saudi Telecom Company – Broadband Jood Plus
  • So yes – we have our work cut out to win the prize! 🙂

    Our first time at the Broadband World Forum conference was last year, when we took part in a panel moderated by Alan Quayle. Depsite the “Broadband” word in the title – it’s actually a broad conference covering key topics in wireless, mobile and broadband, and includes many of he key movers and shakers worldwide. Keynotes are from the CEOs or CTOs of the world’s top operators and vendors, so it’s great for “taking a temperture” for where things are at in the industry.

    Alan works with Operators and other Telecom vendors around the world, and has long been both advocate of how operators can change to take advantage of their strengths in the changing Telecom landscape, and thorn in their side when he explains where he thinks they’re going wrong. A nice example is his recent piece on Developer Communities in his blog, in which he helps categorise the different Operator Developer and Content Communities.

    Alan is moderating several sessions at the World Forum Conference – one on Service Delivery Platform (SDP) Evolution and one on Developer Communities. We’ll be taking part in the panel discussion for the latter session, which will have presentations from Orange, Verizon and KPN about their development community initiatives, as well as  some opening comments and stewardship from Alan himself. It’s always interesting to get together with the operators and talk frankly about what works and what doesn’t – and I’d expect this session to be no exception 🙂

    You can get a feel for our Point of View from our presentation at ICIN 2009:

    Great conference, and we’re delighted to be nominated in illustrious company. Hope to see you there!

    Dial2Do wishes a Very Happy Christmas to all our Beta Users

    By now you might have noticed that there’s been a few things happening this week at Dial2Do. We have spruced up our website, added new content and a shiny new video to explain how it works, and switched on our paid service. We also quietly made some improvements to the way Dial2Do works for you when you phone it.

    And finally, we gave a Christmas Gift to all our Beta users who have helped get us to this point – one year’s free subscription to the new Dial2Do Pro service! We are extremely grateful for all the comments, feedback and suggestions from our Beta users over the last twelve months – so we’re keen to keep you all with us! Please keep up the feedback and critical comments – it helps us make a better service for everyone.

    Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been doing:

    • New Site, content and naming: Now with added colour and cars! 🙂 We’ll be promoting the service as the Handsfree Assistant for drivers in 2010 and beyond.  There’s a new area to help you learn more about Dial2Do before you try it. Complete with shiny new video!
    • Payments: Dial2Do now has a free service and a Pro Service. When you sign up for the free service, you get one month of the Pro service to let you get a feel for what it can do for you. At the end of the month, if you’re not convinced, you can stay with the free service, which lets you manage your reminders (one of our most popular services). The Pro service costs either $3.99 a month, or $39.99 for the year, and lets you use everything Dial2Do has to offer. Full details on the Free and Pro services here.
    • Conversational commands. You can now speak a little more naturally if you like when talking to Dial2Do. For example, to send a text, you used to do this:

    You: “Text”

    Dial2Do: “Text. Ok. Text who?”

    You: “Aunt Marge”

    Dial2Do: “OK. Ready to text Aunt Marge….”

    Now you can just do this:

    You: “Text Aunt Marge”

    Dial2Do” “OK, ready to text Aunt Marge….”

    Full details of the new style and some of the options here.

    Finally – we’ll be at CES show in January in Las Vegas, Baby! We’ll be exhibiting in the Distracted Driving Zone. So – if you want to meet or chat to the Dial2Do Team at the event, please drop a line.

    Dial2Do Slides at ICIN 09