By Brandon Miniman | September 18, 2007 12:00 AM
You must all think I’m crazy trying so many voicemail systems. First, it was SpinVox, which did a great job at converting voicemail speech into text, and sending via email or SMS. The accuracy was very high, and I recommended it in the end. The only thing that was missing was contact association, so that when the transcription comes through, it says “Mom” instead of (625)5551212.
Then, I signed up for SimulScribe and downloaded the Windows Mobile application, called SimulSays that is the first true Visual Voicemail client for Windows Mobile (Smartphone only). The problem with SimulScribe was that the accuracy wasn’t as high as SpinVox, the message delivery was delayed by up to five minutes, and the Windows Mobile application wasn’t yet ready for prime time.
And recently, I’ve stumbled on yet another voicemail service, called CallWave. Before I write about my experience on the system, let me explain how CallWave is different.
Apparently, SimulScribe and SpinVox use humans to convert the speech to text (I thought it was done with software), so there is 1. always a delay in receiving the text/email message and 2. limited privacy since someone on the other end always has to listen to your voicemail. Also, since they use humans to do the work, the price is higher: for SimulScribe, the price per month is $10 for 40 messages, or $30 for unlimited; and SpinVox is a bit cheaper at about $10 for 20 messages and $20 for 50 messages.
The way that CallWave is different is that it uses software to transcribe messages. That means that it can be offered at little or no cost (it’s still in beta, so pricing info is pending), message delivery is VERY fast, and no human has to listen to your voicemail.
But can software match the accuracy of a human? I’ll have the answer in a few days!