Vlingo Voice-Enables Even More Tasks

Vlingo has expanded the actions users can perform with its mobile interface in a new feature called ActionBar, that will allow users to type or speak commands to access services from KAYAK, Fandango, and OpenTable.

Vlingo uses adaptation and predictive technology that combines natural language processing, speech recognition, and Vlingo’s Intent Engine to interpret a user’s intent to take appropriate action.

Chris Barnett, executive vice president of marketing at Vlingo, says the company provides users with the same results whether they use typing or voice. “[This] allows users to initiate actions when it’s not as convenient to speak to their phones—like on a noisy bus or a quiet conference room.”

The natural language processing can understand a phrase such as Tell Joe I’m running late, according to Barnett.

This product will give Android users of Vlingo the ability to search for reservations, movies, and hotels because the system will automatically interface with the given search engine, which Vlingo says will make the interaction more seemless. The difference between Vlingo’s ActionBar and any other voice-powered search on a mobile device is that the user can actually complete the action using the Vlingo widget or homescreen, Barnett argues.

For example, some queries that can be performed include the following:

  • “Hotels in Seattle for tomorrow night,”
  • “Where is Harry Potter playing?;”
  • “Find Italian restaurants nearby; and”
  • “Where can I get a burrito?”

“Vlingo’s mission is to understand the user’s intent and take the appropriate action to help our users quickly, easily, and safely connect to the people, businesses, and information that are important to them. We are extremely pleased to be working with KAYAK, Fandango, and Open Table to give users an easy-to-use interface to make travel plans, find and buy movie tickets, and make dinner reservations,” Barnett said in a statement. “And with the addition of ActionBar, users can now type or speak those commands or requests by using the widget or from the Vlingo home screen.”

“We are thrilled to integrate KAYAK’s comparison travel tools with Vlingo’s Virtual Assistant,” said Jackie LoVerme, director of business development for KAYAK's mobile business, in a statement. “It is a natural fit, as it creates an industry-leading technology partnership that allows KAYAK’s customers to make and manage travel plans faster and more efficiently when they are on the go.”

Vlingo for Android can also power other actions; users can press the Vlingo widget and use voice commands to do the following:

  • send text and email messages;
  • search the Web using Google or Yahoo!;
  • update Facebook and Twitter status;
  • open built-in and third-party applications;
  • speak into any application with the Vlingo Everywhere voice keyboard;
  • use SafeReader to hear incoming text and email messages while they drive;
  • use SuperDialer for one-click calling and to get reviews, maps, and directions for any business; and
  • use the Vlingo InCar hands-free solution to send and respond to messages, make calls, and get directions while driving.

Currently, Vlingo is availabe for Anroid 2.x and above, and U.S. users can download Vlingo onto an Anroid device for free. The company will release this beta function to other Vlingo-supported platforms in the future.

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