By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
KANSAS CITY, MO. — Sprint expanded its network-based voice-dialing service to include voice access to Web-based content and e-mail.
Sprint said it is the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer voice-enabled Web services on a nationwide basis. Regional carrier Qwest Wireless offers a voice-portal service in its Northwest and Rocky Mountain network.
Sprint subscribers can also respond to e-mail messages or originate e-mail messages by speaking into the handset. The user's voice is converted into a Wav file that's sent as an e-mail attachment.
The talking Web service is part of the Voice Command service, which enables subscribers to voice-dial up to 2,500 different numbers by name (500 names, with five numbers per name). The service is free for three months and costs $5 a month after that.
To access Web content, subscribers press *TALK and then say "call weather," "call email," "call traffic reports," "call news," "call stocks," etc.
Qwest's service does not include e-mail, driving directions, nor other services that are part of Sprint's offering, Sprint said. In addition, Qwest's offering is not integrated into a network-based voice-dialing feature. As a result, Qwest subscribers can't listen to information and then say "place a call" to immediately act on the information, a spokeswoman said.
Sprint PCS was the first wireless carrier early this year to launch network-based, voice-activated dialing on a nationwide basis.
In addition to being able to voice-dial by reciting multiple word variations, such as "Call Tom," "Call Tom Smith," "Call Tom at home" or "Call Tom at work," Voice Command users can voice-dial by reciting specific digits — for example, "Call 816-555-1212" — even if the phone numbers have not been entered into the personal address books.
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