With iLane I Hear My Email in My Car
Drivers in North America can now manage their email and text messages by voice, thanks to iLane, a new hands-free email solution from Canada’s Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS) and Loquendo.
With iLane, drivers can listen to, send, and manage email and text messages, make and receive phone calls, listen to calendar entries, and hear on-demand content such as news, weather, and sports scores from the Associated Press and The Weather Network.
“iLane is a device that goes into your vehicle and plugs directly into your cigarette lighter,” says Ken Truffen, vice president of marketing at IMS, an automotive safety, telematics, and mobile media solutions provider. “As soon as I enter my car with my smartphone, the iLane will take control of my smartphone via Bluetooth.”
Making use of Loquendo's automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies, iLane provides seamless, hands-free access to inbound information, reading out new messages and sending dictated replies.
“I can reply, I can delete, I can forward,” Truffen says. “I can pretty much do anything I would typically do with my hands. I can do [it] using only voice commands.”
Truffen says iLane is one of many products and services IMS offers that focuses on automotive safety. “IMS was founded in 1999 with the premise of making vehicles safer and smarter, so we have a whole suite of automotive safety products,” he says. “We know that people are using their smartphone while driving. So it’s an issue we knew about years ago.
“iLane does allow you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” he adds. “It actually is, in and of itself, a hands-free device.”
According to Truffen—who praised Loquendo as a “great partner”—IMS will soon expand iLane by launching additional languages for the service. “Right now the product is English—North American English. In the near future, early next year, we’ll be rolling out Canadian French and we’ll be rolling out Spanish to address the North American market,” he states. “And this is what Loquendo is excellent at—I mean they have a whole host of languages that we can choose from. And as we get into Europe, of course we’re going to have to have UK English…and German, Italian, etc. So Loquendo [will be] pivotal to our success.”