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Pinger: When you want to talk at, not with

Pinger is a cool little voice service that you speak your message to, and it sends an SMS to your recipient.

At the Silicon Valley New Tech Meetup tonight I got a demo of Pinger, a cool little voice messaging service that works on your cell phone. You dial the Pinger number, speak your message to the service, say the name of person you want to get it, and it sends an SMS to your recipient. The recipient gets a text message with a phone number attached to it. The recipient selects and dials that number to hear the message immediately and can respond immediately by voice, too.

It sounds an awful lot like voice mail, doesn't it? It is, sort of, but in the demo, it looked like a more simple solution for sending a voice message when you're sure what you want to do is send a message, not engage in a dialogue. Pinger is also good if you don't like sending text messages.

It's a cool tool, but it seems a bit lonely as a service by itself. It really should be integrated into a larger communications product. On the plus side, if you want to use it, you don't have to deal with your cellular carrier. Just sign up and go for it.