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New spin on connectivity

20th September 2008 - 01:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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THE US authorities’ increasingly isolated position on inflight voice services is proving to be a red rag to the bulls among the nation’s hackers and entrepreneurs.

Hard on the heels of reports that VoIP enthusiasts had circumvented Aircell’s block on voice calling through its Gogo system (Inflight Online, August 29) comes news of a service that converts cellular voicemail and delivers it as text to passenger WiFi phones via services like Gogo and the forthcoming Row 44 satellite offering. 

Atlanta-based SpinVox specialises in what it calls voice-to-content messaging, allowing users to receive voice messages automatically converted into text and delivered as either email or SMS. They can respond via email while in the air or by voice or text message once on the ground.

“One of the truly horrible experiences for the business traveller is arriving after a long flight, turning on a handheld and being deluged with backed-up voicemails and emails,” says SpinVox chief executive Christina Domecq. “We applaud recent connectivity developments and are delighted to be able to offer travellers on US flights a way to stay on top of their incoming voice calls.”

SpinVox’s Voice Message Conversion System (VMCS) combines speech-recognition technology with a live-learning language process. It is now being rolled out in English, French, Spanish and German, with Portuguese under development. The voice-to-text service is currently available to Alltel and Cincinnati Bell subscribers or by visiting www.uReach.com/SpinVox.

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