Rack this one up as an awesome idea. Telstra has partnered with a company called SpinVox to launch a service which automagically converts your voicemail messages to text, and then sends you an SMS so you can read the message instead of having to listen to it.The best part about the whole thing is that most of the speech-to-text is done by intelligent software, which takes out all the "ummmms" and "errrms" from the message, although there is also a human backup system to ensure accuracy. The software is also customised to Australia, so local place names and swear words are accurately transcribed.
The guys at SpinVox also have services to convert text into blogs or tweets, although they're not yet available in Australia.
The service will cost Telstra customers either $15 a month for 500 messages or 40 cents per message with a $5 monthly fee. And while it is currently only available on Telstra, there is the potential for other networks to use the SpinVox technology. Here's hoping they jump on board soon as well.
Save valuable time with Telstra's Voice2Text™ service
Telstra consumer customers can now take advantage of an innovative service - Telstra Voice2Text™, which allows customers to read their voice messages by converting voicemail to text.
Telstra customers who subscribe to the service have their voicemail messages converted to text and sent to their mobile phone as an SMS. Voice2Text™ subscribers will see the caller ID in the text message*, allowing them to easily call or text straight back. Customers also have the option of listening to their voice messages by simply calling MessageBank® in the normal way.
Telstra Consumer Executive Director, Ms Glenice Maclellan, said Voice2Text is simple, easy to use, and saves customers valuable time.
"At a glance, people can usually see who has called, discreetly read the content of the voicemail and make prompt decisions even if they are in a noisy environment, travelling, or simply in the middle of doing something else.
"In addition, Voice2Text means customers won't have to write down telephone numbers from their voice messages - it is all presented in the text message," Ms Maclellan said.
Telstra Product Management Executive Director, Mr Ross Fielding, said Telstra has made the service available to all mobile customers following encouraging feedback from Telstra business customers.
"We have found that our customers are embracing new ways of communicating where the solution adds flexibility and convenience to their lives and saves them valuable time. Telstra will continue to innovate using speech and look for new ways to help our customers better communicate and stay in touch," he said.
Telstra is partnering with UK company, SpinVox, to bring the voice to text service to Australian customers. At the heart of SpinVox is its Voice Message Conversion System™ (VMCS), which captures spoken words, and automatically converts them into text using a combination of voice recognition, artificial intelligence and natural linguistics.
SpinVox Co-founder and CEO, Ms Christina Domecq, said she was delighted that more Australians would soon be able to use the simple, easy to use Voice2Text service which saves customers valuable time and removes the inconvenience and hassle of having to dial voicemail and find a pen and paper to take down the content of messages.
"We are excited to be launching the first voice to text service to Australian consumers with Telstra. The service will make everyday communications, more convenient and more powerful - it's seven times quicker to read a message than to listen to it and seven times quicker to speak a message rather than type it on a mobile keyboard. Telstra's customers will find that Voice2Text will soon become an essential tool for connecting with friends and family," she added.
Telstra customers who take up the Voice2Text service for the first time will also get the service free for the first month.
Customers can choose from a number of monthly pricing options including $15 for 500 messages or pay as you go at 40 cents per message (with $5 monthly fee).
*Except where the caller leaving the message has a silent line.