Cingular has been piloting Voice Connect in several Southeastern states for the past year and is now making the service available to customers nationwide.
"We have had very positive response in our test markets, and we are excited to be able to offer all of our customers the ability to access information and place calls via voice," said Jeff Schlueter, executive director of marketing at Cingular Wireless. "Voice Connect allows drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road."
Upon completion of a brief activation process, Voice Connect lets users place calls by speaking the name or the phone number of the person they want to call, thus allowing for hands-free dialing. Subscribers can set up their address books by entering names
by voice, via the Internet at www.cingular.com/voiceconnect, or by synchronizing the service with their Microsoft Outlook or Palm Desktop address book.
In addition to voice-activated dialing, Voice Connect allows customers to receive a wide range of information audibly, including stock quotes, weather reports, news, sports, horoscopes, lottery results, TV dramas and movie information.
All current Cingular Wireless customers can activate Voice Connect service by dialing *8 on their wireless device and following the prompts. The service can also be activated in Cingular Wireless retail stores, through Cingular Customer Service or by signing up at www.cingular.com.
Customers activating Voice Connect will receive a free 30-day trial. Thereafter, Cingular's Voice Connect service is US$4.99 per month with normal airtime charges applying.
Services like Voice Connect are an important part of Cingular's "Be Sensible" safe driving campaign, which offers tips to drivers about sensible use of wireless phones on the highways. "Be Sensible" was launched by Cingular in Spring 2001 and is designed to educate and remind Cingular's customers as well as all wireless users nationwide about safe and courteous ways to use their wireless phones.
Cingular's Voice Connect service is based on the Total Voice Dialer™ and Total Voice Portal™ products offered by BeVocal, Inc., a pioneer and leader in providing outsourced VoiceXML-based solutions. BeVocal has worked closely with Cingular over the past year to improve Voice Connect, making it even faster, more accurate and easier to use for Cingular's subscribers nationwide.