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SimulScribe turns voice mail into text

SimulScribe uses voice recognition software to transcribe voice mail messages.

As our lives get busier and we become more reliant on text messages and e-mail, voice mail is starting to seem a tad archaic (not to mention impractical if you're sitting in a business meeting or loud bar). A company called SimulScribe has come up with a technology that claims to be the answer.

The New York-based start-up uses voice recognition technology to transcribe voice mails into text. Instead of having to sit through Grandpa Bill's three-minute voice mail, you'd get a written message, via SMS or e-mail, approximately two to five minutes after the voice mail was left, with every word Grandpa said. If you want to listen to your message the old-fashioned way, you can still call your voice mail and check it.

SimulScribe seems to combine the functions of GotVoice, with its PC capabilities, and SpinVox with the SMS function. The service also claims to have over 90 percent transcription accuracy, and unlimited voice mail storage. When I tested it out with company CEO James Siminoff, my poorly voiced message was accurate enough to have meaning. During the demo, Siminoff said the company has programmed its transcription software to not clean up or correct the content of the voice mail, to maintain authenticity.

Although the service, which is free for a week to try and then costs $9.95 a month for 40 messages, will work on any cell phone, it performs optimally on smart phones. On Monday, SimulScribe plans to announce its partnership with popular VoIP service Skype, providing Skype users the capability to receive their voice messages in text. More announcements are rumored to be on the way in late spring.