VoxSciences – is this the Spinvox story that should have played out?

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Stupid invention: the self-playing harmonica

It translates your voices mails into text messages for a clear monthly price and even has an API. And they are quite happy to admit that, yes, sometimes your voicemail gets typed in by a person at a call centre.

Amid the hoo-ha swirling around Spinvox at the moment, UK startup VoxSciences is just getting on with business.

CEO Ken Blackman told me that the company is – unlike the £200m private equity-backed Spinvox – self-funded, has been running for a year and employs just nine people. Is this the company Goldman Sachs should have backed instead? I have a feeling we’ll know the answer to that fairly shortly.

I gave the service a quick trial and although the machine text arrived just a tad slower than the average Spinvox one, the message was actually pretty accurate (see picture), especially as I recorded the second message on a busy road with a truck going past. FYI, the “(unclear)” bit was “Milo Yiannopoulos”. Did a person translate it? Who knows – but, as Blackman was quite happy to admit, yes, sometimes the voicemail goes through a call centre – but their main service is a conversion engine called VERBS (Virtual Engine for Recognition of Basic Speech) which converts voice messages into text messages and delivers them either as an email, SMS or via an API interface.

Meanwhile, Spinvox has mounted a new offensive – making translated calls (sent to an email address only) free in the UK until December 31st.

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