SHAPE services have announced that their IM+ instant messaging client will now include voice-to-text capabilities. This means that BlackBerry smartphones will soon be capable of taking dictation, both for notes and for instant messages. It also means that these same features will soon be available in Facebook, AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, and MySpaceIM.
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Apparently 70% of smartphone users prefer to be able to dictate their IMs and send them as text, as opposed to typing them out. Considering the demand, it's no surprise that BlackBerry was eager to partner up with SHAPE.
Voice input programs are getting more popular every year as technology improves. There will always be a demand for text-input, of course. Dictating your text messages at work would go over about as well as talking on the phone would. Most people seem to view text-based input as a necessary evil. It's not the easiest or the most practical way to do things, but sometimes it's the only option you've got.
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This technology seems like it'll produce maximal efficiency when used in tandem with a bluetooth headpiece. You'll be able to text all day long without straining your fingers or risking your life by typing on a miniature keyboard while barreling down the freeway. Not that any of our readers do that, of course.