Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Jawbone: You Won’t Pay a Penny for Our Thoughts

Headset maker Jawbone thinks it has found another nifty use for its electronic earwear. The company is using D: Dive Into Mobile to announce Thoughts, an iPhone app that lets road warriors dictate a quick thought that gets delivered as an audio file to whomever they like. If the recipient also has the Thoughts app, they can get messages delivered there. If not, the program can send either an email or text with a link to the recorded message, or even a computer transcription if they need one.

It’s really convenient for senders. With just a press of a button, they can dictate the equivalent of a text message and know that it will reach the person. It’s like sending a voicemail without having to listen to that annoying message or–heaven forbid–talk to someone. You can even share your thought with various groups of people.

As for the recipients, I’m not sure how they will take to an influx of “thoughts” should their friends or company really start digging the new messaging option.

In any case, Thoughts is a free download due shortly at the App Store, so it won’t cost a thing to try it out. You don’t even need a headset, though it integrates well with Jawbone’s gear and software. However, the goal of the software is to make headsets more versatile.

Plantronics is also trying to expand the device’s utility, in its case expanding from a cellphone-only headset to one that can talk to Skype and enterprise phone systems, in addition to cellphones.

Live Notes

4:15 pm: Aliph/Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman takes the stage with Walt and Kara.

4:16 pm: He starts taking out the Jambox, a wireless speaker system and speakerphone in one.

4:17 pm: Aliph is offering 40 percent off the device to D: Dive attendees.

4:17 pm: They transition to the real demo.

Rahman says they are usually talking about headsets, but today they are here to talk about an app they have developed.

4:18 pm: He says we all live in a distracted life.

“People are constantly bumping into stuff now, with all the touchscreen stuff.”

4:19 pm: He says they love texts because they are asynchronous and you don’t have to get back to people immediately.

He says they love voice because it is the oldest method of communication. “It’s better for expressing emotion,” says Rahman.

4:20 pm: He opens Jawbone Thoughts on his iPhone 4.

The app is a hybrid between texting and voicemail–quickly sending a voice message to an individual or group.

4:21 pm: Rahman sends a message, and now we switch to the receiver’s phone.

The interface is slick, and avatar-driven. Feels like playing song demos in iTunes–just a snippet to get a quick idea.

4:23 pm: The app also has a text-to-speech engine for text messages.

Kara asks, “Can you control it with voice…so no tapping on the screen?”

“Soon. We are waiting on some APIs,” says Rahman.

4:25 pm: The app can also send voice messages or texts to people who don’t have the app. It just sends a text message or email.

The demo ends with a mention of version 2.0 for the app.

Here’s Aliph’s own demo video of the Thoughts app:

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