Jott to Convert Cell Phone Calls to Text

Seattle based Jott will launch its new voice to text product sometime this week. It’s very simple – a user calls a specific phone number and leaves a voice message along with a recipient or recipients (an obvious use for Jott will be for people to leave themselves quick notes). The voice message will then be converted from voice into text and delivered via email or SMS. The recipient or recipients can choose between reading the text or listening to the original voice message.

Like many new Seattle startups, Seattle PI reporter John Cook got an early look at them and was able to test out their software. While the voice recognition isn’t perfect, it seems good enough. His message of “Jott Networks is a new startup that converts your voice into text and delivers it via e-mail” was translated into “Jott now works as a new startup that converts your voice and ___ delivers it via E-mail.”

Jot is currently a four person team that includes two former Microsoft employees – John Pollard and Shreedhar Madhavapeddi. The company has raised less than $1 million in capital, from Ackerley Partners, Draper Richards and Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom.

Jott looks to be big competition for high flying startup Pinger, which just completed an $8 million round of funding from Kleiner Perkins and DAG Ventures. The Pinger team says that they are seeing significant usage growth, but they do not convert voice into text – recipients must listen to the original voice message. See a Pinger demo here.

Conversion to text is a big advantage that Jott has over Pinger. Chances are Pinger is hard at work to add this feature, too. In the meantime, I anticipate that I will often use Jott to send myself and others messages, particularly when traveling.

Note also competitor Spinvox, which is currently only available in the UK.