Microsoft's Yap Speech Recognition BlackBerry App

BlackBerry users on Sprint now have a new speech-to-text mobile application that enables them to dictate e-mails and text messages without taking their hands off the wheel.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) built the Talk-to-Text application for Sprint (NYSE: S) BlackBerrys using technology from a small startup named Yap, which announced the new service Monday at CTIA 2010 in Las Vegas.

"We are pleased to work with Yap to provide a useful and engaging mobile service to consumers," Vic Bondi, senior director for sales and channels engineering at MSN, said in a statement.

According to Yap, the speech-to-text technology provides a fully-automated speech recognition that can be integrated quickly into custom applications using simple XML Web services. Yap's technology was incorporated into Talk-to-Text using only "a few lines of code," Yap said.

Mobile App Yap on Sprint for BlackBerry OS

The ability to speak and have that speech automatically, and accurately, converted into text, or vice versa, has been a "holy grail" of sorts for companies involved in unified communications in recent years, including Microsoft's Office Communications Server. There are also standalone speech-to-text tools for use on PCs such as Nuance Communications' Dragon Naturally Speaking.

However, many mobile companies are looking to add technologies such as speech-to-text translation in an effort to diminish the hazards of driving while texting, among other risk factors.

Microsoft's Talk-to-Text service is available to BlackBerry users running on the Sprint network to download immediately.

"This is available as a Sprint branded application to anyone who uses a BlackBerry device," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Microsoft, Sprint, BlackBerry OS, voice recognition, BlackBerry app