Microsoft’s Tellme subsidiary launched a voice activated directory for the BlackBerry yesterday. Users can talk into the device and say the name of a business, type of business, or keywords like “weather”, “movies”, “traffic”, “map” or “driving directions.” The application then uses GPS to locate the BlackBerry and give out information from Microsoft’s Live Search engine to the phone’s screen. Users can get directions, buy movie tickets and do other fun stuff.
The application only works on newer BlackBerry models. It is currently advertisement-free, but in the future ads will be delivered to support the system.
Tellme was bought by Microsoft in 2007. Versions for Helio, Windows Mobile and the iPhone are being developed. Tellme’s BlackBerry launch comes on the heels of Yahoo’s voice search system, oneSearch 2.0, which just included some BlackBerry models a few weeks ago.
Voice activation seems to be the future trend for mobile directories and other applications. With cell phones getting smaller, it becomes more and more difficult to use the keypad. Navigating while on the go isn’t so easy if you are physically moving. Look for voice activation to branch out into other mobile areas as the technology develops.