Vancouver-based Bvocalized Systems Inc, which term itself a “voice powered virtual assistance” company, has introduced a new way to access web information hands-free via voice commands. Users connect to the service by calling a toll free number using any phone within North America, and the system “listens, understands and responds within minutes” with an automated phone call back to the user. The BVocalized assustat also handles secretarial tasks, since users can send email, dictate notes and get directions via the service.
The system works by having the user’s speech transcribed via software into text, which is then analyzed by a Bvocalized specialist, who then submits their own text message back into the system which is sent back to the user.
All well and good, but with most people in front of a computer or with a smartphone in their pocket, the Bvocalized Voice Assistant seems like a solution looking for a problem. Company CEO Naveed Manzoor says “surfing the web on a mobile phone is clumsy and costly,” and before the introduction of the iPhone, Android, and other new phones flooding the market, and the reduction in cost of Canadian data plans, he’d be right. But when a user can get instant answers via 3G or wifi on their iPhone, why wait minutes for what is essentially a Mechanical Turk system, when it’s becoming easier everyday to get the answers straight from the source?