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Dash Navigation Gets Voice Input

9/10/2008 04:07:00 PM Eastern

Sunnyvale, Calif. — Dash Navigation, maker of the first Internet-connected, always-on portable GPS, is adding voice control to its Dash Express personal navigation device (PND).

But instead of users “talking” into the Dash device, they speak aloud their instructions through a cellphone, which then delivers the information automatically to the Dash device.

Using voice technology from a Microsoft subsidiary, called Tellme, the user calls an 800 number and verbally requests the name of a business or of a category, which is then searched out over the Internet. When the driver picks a business name, the address is wirelessly sent over to the Dash Express and directions are provided. The feature is free to Dash users, said the company, and the only requirement is that users register their phone number with Dash Navigation via the Internet.

“Dash Express owners can now resolve everyday navigation issues — such as finding a nearby florist on their way home from work … without having to write down an address and then manually enter that address into a GPS device,” said the company.

“Tellme’s vision is, ‘Say what you want and get it, on any device,’” said Dariusz Paczuski, senior director of Tellme Consumer Services, noting that this is the company’s first foray into the automobile.

In addition, users can call Dial Directions, at 1-DIRECTIONS or (347) 328-4667, on any cellphone and speak their destination. The destination appears instantly on their navigation device.