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Voice Texting With Tropo Speech & SMS Technology

Posted on December 21, 2011 by Team Tropo

We all agree that texting while driving is very dangerous, right? Fred Wilson, VC and principal of Union Square Ventures thinks so too. He recently wrote a blog post that starts like this:

“As a parent of two young adult drivers and a third soon to hit the road, nothing scares me more than texting while driving.”

Fred continued his blog post envisioning a Voice Texting application as follows:

“Being an engineer at heart and by training, I’ve been looking for a solution to the problem. I know that the buzz of the phone and the unread/unresponded message is like a drug to many and that the best solution would be a “hands free” way to read and respond. And the bluetooth/hands free voice solution works so well on most cars and most phones now, so why can’t we do the same with texting?”

Having two kids of my own (1 already driving and 1 studying for a drivers permit) and having access to the Tropo API and platform, I felt compelled to build a quick Voice Texting application to share with Fred Wilson! Here is what Fred had to say upon me sharing it with him…

Here is how it works:

To send a text, call (415) 349-3120 and using Tropo speech recognition say the phone number that you would like to text and then speak your message. Tropo then transcribes the message and sends your text message to phone number you spoke without taking your eyes or hands off the road.

Disclaimer: We are not promoting texting while driving even with the proper tools that would keep your eyes on the road such as a bluetooth earpiece and autodial features.

The source code for this project is written in Ruby and open sourced on GitHub in case anyone would like to extend it or perhaps even create a new business around this idea and have a head start! Here’s a video of me demonstrating the technology in action:

Drive safely!

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