In about six weeks, Dial2Do will launch its mobile phone platform for dictating commands to various Web services. (we have a limited supply of early beta invites; read to the end). It's an interesting play to make users more productive during their commutes.
When you sign up for Dial2Do, you'll be able to immediately use it to dictate yourself reminders. After a brief address book set-up you can also speak SMS and e-mail messages to others. The service transcribes your speech for its messages.
You can also use the service to control various Web 2.0 sites. On the site you can enter in your Twitter, Tumblr, and Jaiku credentials, for instance, so you can microblog while driving without actually typing. Not that I recommend this activity. Dial2Do is the engine behind the TwitterFone product .
Dial2Do also interfaces to a translation service, and to Jajah as an alternate way to make phone calls, including conference calls.
The service's speech-to-text engine is "assisted," meaning that after the Dial2Do servers have a swipe at transcribing your voice content, a human may be called in to verify or correct the text. This makes the transcription far more accurate than you'd get with a machine-only service, but it also introduces a lag (about three minutes) and that lag means that there's no good way for you to get a read-back of your text before it's mailed, posted, or the like. So unless you trust the service very much, you may not want to use it to create SMS messages, blog posts, or Twitters.
Not in the version I tried, but coming soon will be the capability for it to grab and read RSS feeds, and possibly to subscribe to and play podcasts.
Dial2Do CEO Ivan MacDonald told me the goal is for the company to become the hands-free enabler for Web services. MacDonlad wants to help consumers "use the dead time" during their driving commutes. Hands-free access to the services mentioned so far, as well as others, is the key to that, he believes. He'll have to get other companies to sign on, though. And the big win would be to get the mobile carriers on board with this app. MacDonald and I unfortunately didn't discuss the safety implications of having users access RSS feeds and Twitter and the like while driving.