Tag Archives: award

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.

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#mwc09 part 1

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Just back home in Dublin from Mobile World Congress Barcelona, and have the usual mix of post-tradeshow excitement-cum-fatigue. It was a really excellent show. Attendance was down, which made the aisles easier to walk, the queues (lines) shorter or non-existent, hotels easier to book, and the whole conference just slightly less manic than in prior years. The reduced attendance meant anyone there was there to do business. As a result it seemed to me, and to most people I asked, that “quality” (meaning potential to move business deals forward) was up. That is indeed a good thing.

I’ll do a few short posts to cover our week at MWC. As usual – it’s sometimes hard to get around to see things, as we were either on our stand or in meetings. This tends to cramp your style, even if (as we did) you have a team of three present all week. However, you do tend to pick up “the buzz” from the meetings, the traffic, the show conversations, and so on. Plus of course we were at several events during the week, at which the great and the good were present, so you get to hear their take on things.

So just for fun, here’s a starter insight to MWC : the price of Internet Access if you use the Fira-supplied offers in the building.

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Yes, that’s right. 75 Euro for 24 hours access!!! Unbelievable. I know, I know. Most people at the show use some other method, either supplied by their stand (wired or wireless access), or have made their own arrangements. I just can’t help find it ironic that these prices are approaching the highest I’ve ever seen. Surely, surely, surely, with an agenda to promote “wireless access” – especially to data – the GSMA could sort out something innovative, showcase and world-class for future years?

Now for other matters. Well first things first. Dial2Do was nominated by the MobileMonday Dublin chapter for the MobileMonday Peer Awards at MWC. As I mentioned before, it was an honour to be nominated, and we went filled with gusto, vim and vigour to put our best foot forward to win the prize. Our ceo, Ivan MacDonald did the pitch, which included a first public presentation about our new partnership with SouthWing for their new SouthWingAssistant service.

Well, we didn’t win. 😦 However, the event was great, the quality across the board was very strong, and we had some fantastic feedback, before, during and after the event.

The winner was very-deserved babajob – a job-finder service with a strong mobile component based in India. They swept the boards with both community awards and jury awards. Congratulations and kudos to everyone at babajob.

We then attended the MoMo Peer Awards party, and great gathering organised at Citrus. Seemed that everyone was there – top marks to the m-trends team for making it happen.

Back at the stand, we had a great reaction to the SouthWing announcement. There’s nothing like having the real hardware available on the stand to show people to help them get the idea. And the new SouthWing stuff looks very, very slick.

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We did a lot of demos at the show to give people a real feel for how the SouthWing Assistant will work in practise (push the button, get connected!). As SouthWing happen to be a Barcelona-based company, many of the SouthWing staff were able to stop by over the course of the conference. It was great to put faces to some of the names we’ve spent time with on conference calls over the last few months! 🙂

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Our Stand-Of-The-Show award goes to SpinVox, who, as last year, had the most original design and most astonishing marketing at the show. Man – dem boys have some serious marketing moolah. Incredible!

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On Monday Dial2Do was also were included in a new report by Infonetics on IMS and RCS. We’ve written here before about RCS, and were privileged to be included in Diane Myers’ new report, released on the first day of the conference. As Diane wrote:

One measure of success for RCS will be the ability to layer-on enhanced services and capabilities beyond the core components. There are a number of compelling voice and data applications that offer converged mobile/fixed-line capabilities that operate perfectly well in stand-alone IP networks. To date there has been little compelling value to move to IMS from an application perspective. RCS changes all that as the example of Dial2Do illustrates.

Diane covers an rich communication example we’re working on in Dial2Do, whereby we can add value to a “call” service – offering rich status information regarding the called party (latest IM status, twitter status, and so on) within the call flow, and offer the caller some options as to how best to connect. The report is available from Infonetics.

Ok, this post is getting too long. Back later with more on Android, Social Phone and tidbits from the show.

Parter Love: Twitterfone is Beautiful

A quick shout out to Sabrina Dent. She designed the Twitterfone Web Page(s), under eh, difficult circumstances 🙂 So we were delighted to hear that on Saturday night she was awarded the Most Beautiful Web Site award at the Inaugural Irish Web Awards.

She also gave a master-class in acceptance speeches. Short, sweet. Funny. True. Video is here.