SafeReader Reads Emails and Text Messages AloudSo Drivers Can Keep Their Eyes on the Road
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (March 24, 2010) – Vlingo Corporation, maker of the world’s most popular mobile voice application, today announced version 4.5 of Vlingo, offering a new, free feature that gives users more “hands-free” control of their BlackBerry® smartphones and helps deter driving while texting (DWT). SafeReader, a free feature available immediately to all users of Vlingo for BlackBerry smartphone users, provides drivers with a safer, easier way to consume incoming text and email messages. Rather than fumbling to retrieve and read messages while on the road, SafeReader reads them aloud so drivers never have to take their eyes off of the road or hands off of the wheel.
“Although Vlingo does not condone the use of a mobile device while driving, we believe SafeReader provides a safe, hands-free option for receiving must-have messages while on the go,” said Dave Grannan, chief executive officer of Vlingo. “Before getting on the road, simply press a button, speak to the device ‘Start SafeReader’, and all incoming messages will be delivered audibly, without fail. We believe that any distracted driving is dangerous, but with SafeReader we can ensure that getting incoming texts and emails when driving is no more distracting than listening to the radio. By providing our BlackBerry smartphone users with SafeReader we hope to keep the roads a little safer.”
The concept for SafeReader originated from and developed as a result of Vlingo’s proprietary DWT data research. Each year the company conducts and publishes the Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report to examine over 4,800 consumer attitudes and habits nationwide around the topic of DWT. According to initial 2010 results, 93% of consumers today believe reading or typing a text message while driving is as unsafe as not wearing a seatbelt, yet a quarter of those surveyed admit to having done it in the past. In fact, 66% believe the practice presents one of the biggest distractions drivers face on the road, while most (87%) believe it should be illegal. Complete survey results will be published later this spring.
Users worldwide already use Vlingo’s speech to text technology to send a text or email message, call afriend, search the web, update their Facebook or Twitter status, use instant messaging, add contacts and calendar entries and more, simply by speaking into their phone. SafeReader expands upon these extensive features by offering the reverse functionality – text to speech – and allowing users to experience a more thorough and more reliable hands-free experience.
Vlingo 4.5 for BlackBerry smartphones with SafeReader can be downloaded for free on BlackBerry App World™ (www.blackberry.com/appworld) or directly from Vlingo (www.vlingo.com).
With Vlingo, users can instantly send a text or email message, call a friend, search the web, update their Facebook or Twitter status, use instant messaging, add contacts and calendar entries and more by just speaking into their phone. As the inventor of the mobile phone “voice user interface,” Vlingo is the only technology that allows people to use virtually any application on the phone simply by pressing a button and speaking to the phone. Founded in 2006, Vlingo is backed by Charles River Ventures, Sigma Partners, Yahoo! and AT&T and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, go to www.vlingo.com.
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