Friday, October 24, 2008

myMobile extends myMemory { reQall () }

"Imagine being able to talk to your phone while it intelligently organizes your utterances into your Calendar, Notes or To-Dos."
Disclaimer: I'm just about to give all iPhone and Blackberry users an big dose of ego boost and everyone else a sense of envy (apologies).

I have a confession to make, I am an extremely forgetful person. I mean, if my wife asks me to buy a pack of bread, a dozen eggs, a pack of butter and toothpaste; I'd most likely forget the toothpaste. To take care of this I'd begun to jot notes - Post-It style. That mostly used to work, except when I'd forget to take the Post-It notes themselves! :). That said, I do not recall having forgotten to take my mobile phone - ever; its almost become an extension of me - a part of my identity.

"Imagine being able to simply right-click on this webpage and add this post to your list of The-Greatest-Posts-Ever-Made list (just kidding ;) )"

In my 'phone of the future' vision, my handset would seamlessly extend the function of my brain and one department of my brain which could do with some serious extension is my memory.

Let me cut the chase and get to the point. A few days ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I read somewhere about reQall. While they do not claim to have any direct neural interface to my brain yet, they claim to be able do be supplement my memory!

In their words, this is the 'simple' problem they'd solved: "Ever had a brilliant idea while driving, but couldn't write it down? Needed to remember something, but didn't have a pen?"

Being a Blackberry user, I downloaded this cool app from [Note: reQall for BlackBerry requires OS version 4.2.0 or higher.]. It integrates seamlessly with my device. So now I can fire up the app click the 'Add by Voice' Option and speak "Meeting with John Doe, prepare the presentation". reQall transmits this voice signal to its server where it does a voice-to-text conversion and sends me an email apart from adding the event to my calendar and reQall interface! And the best part - it works.

reQall gave me a pleasant deja-vu as well! Back at TinfoMobile we'd developed a similar app which won us an award at the Reliance-NASSCOM Developer Contest. We'd made an app that helped the visually impaired by reading out SMS and Call History in Voice. We did the exact opposite of reQall. We transmitted the SMS text over GPRS to a server where a Text-to-Speech engine converted it to Voice and this was played back by a Media-Player instance on the phone (it worked even on a very basic and cheap Reliance Java Black-and-White handset).

There are a dozen other things you could do with reQall and I'm sure it would increase your productivity one small notch higher. Do give it a shot. Its innovation at its best and is powered by Indian brains. Its a company called QTech founded by Sunil Vemuri and N. Rao Machiraju. Three cheers for the duo!

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