Dial Directions Gives Evite Guests a Voice-Activated Mobile Service for Directions

Evite is already the leading social event planning service on the Web, facilitating more than 6 million events annually for more than 18 million users. It annually sends more than 200 million event invitations electronically, translating to more than 24,000 invitations per hour.

Through a deal reached today with Dial Directions, a provider of voice-entry technology for mobile devices, Evite guests can now access free voice-activated directions to their events. Now included in Evite’s popular Send-to-Phone text alerts is a "directions" click-to-call link that connects to Dial Directions’ voice-activated service with speech recognition. The service automatically knows the Evite event destination, so users need only say their start address or intersection to instantly receive turn-by-turn directions to their Evite destination via text message. The free directions feature works from any cell phone and does not require any GPS, data plan, or registration. Dial Directions posted a video demonstration of Evite’s directions service to YouTube.

Given that "more than 90 percent of the mobile phones out there today do not have an integrated GPS capabity," explains Tuyen Ho, vice president of marketing at Dial Directions, speech, she says, is the natural alternative.

"With speech recognition, the ability to capture locations—whether it’s a street name, intersection, or landmark—has been a hard nut to crack," she says, noting that Dial Directions has overcome this with a combination of speech recognition and geo-spatial location-based services.

"This illustrates the right use of voice and speech recognition," Ho says. "It’s much easier to say your location than to try to type it in on a tiny keypad and a tiny display screen."

The one drawback to the service arrangement with Evite, she notes, is that now guests will lose their excuse for being "fashionably late" to the party because they got lost.

The offering with Dial Directions is part of a push by Evite to make its service available via the mobile phone. "Our goal at Evite is to continuously offer our users fun and easy ways to plan and organize their social lives," Rosanna McCollough, general manager at Evite, said in a statement. "Our users are always on the go, and Dial Directions offers a free, innovative, and convenient navigation service for any cell phone user to get to any Evite event destination."

Dial Directions also has similar deals in place with Ask.com Mobile, Jingle Network’s 1-800-Free411, and Virgin Mobile USA. Dial Directions also provides a free nationwide phone service for driving directions, at 1-DIRECTIONS (1-347-328-4667).

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