+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-04-2002
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    53

    VoiceSignal is it worth it?

    Recent 7135 convert.

    I am intrigued by the voicesignal software.
    I did a search for some user experiences but have come up relatively dry.

    Two questions:

    1) Does anyone have a decent amount of experience with the software?

    2) How much is it?
    I cannot find the price anywhere on the PalmOne website. It says "free for the first 14 days....purchase to register".

    I realize that BT won't work the way we want it to with it. I just want to know if it's worth pursuing at all.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-25-2005
    Posts
    2
    I used the trial Voice Signal app for about two hours , then logged on right from the Treo and bought it....oh yeah, it's $19.99

  3. #3
    3D Software / VR Developer ferneau's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-15-2003
    Location
    Potomac, MD USA
    Posts
    44
    I wish I was able to try it but if you have more than 3,000 contacts, it won't work -- not even in "number dialing mode".

    Voice Signal claims if you have more than 3,000 contacts the pre-calculated data takes up too much memory space so they decided to stop the program from working.

    In an email exchange on Friday, Sarah Hacket (from Voice Signal said):

    This will be a product improvement in future releases. There were a number of memory problems when 4,000 names were in the contact list, so we disable the entire application in this scenario.
    When asked when this would be fixed, I received this answer:

    Unfortunately, we have no plan of doing this near term because it consumes too much memory.
    Finally, I asked why they simply don't revert the application to number dialing mode (which is the default after 14 days if you don't buy the program), her response was:

    I will pass along the suggestion.
    Oh well, I'll have to find another solution to try as I have about 4,800 contacts.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-17-2004
    Posts
    43
    I also tried it, got addicted (its very useful). Take it for a spin with the trial.

  5. #5
    3D Software / VR Developer ferneau's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-15-2003
    Location
    Potomac, MD USA
    Posts
    44
    Right, the problem is I can't take it for a trial spin because Voice Signal (in their wisdom) has prevented anyone with more than 3,000 contacts from doing so.

    What I can't comprehend is why (from a design perspective) they made the decision to prevent their program from working in number dialing mode when the # of contacts is greater than 3,000.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7

    clarification

    Greetings from VoiceSignal - we developed the underlying executable in the Treo Voice Dialing application (by VoiceSignal).

    I read this thread and wanted to clarify an obvious misunderstanding about the limitation of 3000 contacts. There has not been any misguided, illogical, or nefarious attempt here to undermine users with large contact lists. The fact of the matter is that there is simply not enough dynamic memory available on the Treo 650 for us to support a version of our application (that is not deeply embedded) that can accomodate users with more than 3000 names. If we did not implement a hard cut off at 3000 names, it would not work for anyone and thus would not be a marketable product. We hope to address this as the product continues to evolve but waiting until that point would prevent many users from being able to take advantage of it today.

    There is not a commited delivery date to address this at this time and for that I apologize, but we very clearly recognize that this cuts out some end users who have large contacts databases, which is not a good thing.

    Since the person who is not happy about this indicates that they are a software developer, then they will agree that developing a software architecture requires engineering design choices and trade-offs all along the way which can create limitations in the final application. This is one of them...

    For anyone who is interested, please visit our website at www.voicesignal.com to see the many different types of mobile devices that we also support along with our OEM partners.

  7. #7
    3D Software / VR Developer ferneau's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-15-2003
    Location
    Potomac, MD USA
    Posts
    44
    VST1 -

    Let's be clear. I'm not indicating anything nefarious here.

    Am I a software developer? Yes.
    Do I agree that sometimes limits need to be placed in software? Absolutely.

    I completely understand the memory issues of the 650 -- frankly, they frustrate me on an almost daily basis.

    Additionally, I very much appreciate Voice Signal's decision to not support more than 3K contacts due to memory concerns.

    I keep using the same language in my email messages (both direct email to support and above) which indicates that I'm confused by one component of the 3K contact decision.

    My understanding is that after 14-days of use if VoiceSignal is not licensed it reverts to dialing numbers by voice only. (i.e. dialing by contact names will not work).

    Further, my understanding is that due to memory limitations, Voice Signal made the (correct) decision to not support more than 3K contacts.

    Therefore, what *confuses* me is why someone didn't (and hasn't) made the obvious leap to say...

    If the phone has more than 3K contacts, ONLY support dialing number mode --> this wouldn't take up any extra memory.

    That's what really confuses me. Voice Signal has the opportunity here to make people with lots of contacts somewhat happy but has decided not to.

    I'm not sure why.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7
    point taken and we will address this, but it does require some implementation to "disable" names. the same speech engine is recognizing both names and numbers concurrently.

    i will certainly pass this along to make sure that no one forgets about large contact users who may still want to dial numbers, which is an admittedly difficult task on the Treo keyboard.

    Thanks for clarifying your position...

  9. #9
    3D Software / VR Developer ferneau's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-15-2003
    Location
    Potomac, MD USA
    Posts
    44
    VST1 -

    Thanks for listening. I appreciate it.

    I truly look forward to trying out your product as soon as I am able.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-03-2005
    Posts
    3
    VST1, whilst you're in the mood to comment on the treo voice command software ...

    What is the situation with initiating and issuing voice commands through a bluetooth headset? I can see on your site that the Samsung SGH-D500 voicesignal app works with bluetooth headsets, so I assume it's not a fundamental problem with the quality of voice over bluetooth.

    Therefore is compatibility with BT headsets coming in the next release as well, or is there some tricky problem with the treo bluetooth implementation that palm need to fix first?

    Thanks for your time.
    Last edited by gbdrbob; 03-03-2005 at 07:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7
    Hi - great question since it comes up a lot on various threads...

    This is really a question for Palmone since our app is agnostic to the wherever the audio comes from (i.e. - handset mic, wired headset, BT headset, car-kit, etc...). By this I mean that it is really not a VoiceSignal issue of "supporting BT" b/c to us, the phone platform just delivers sound to us and we don't care where it came from.

    The answer to this question is that on Treo 650, the BT sound is not made available to Palm OS apps (where we reside) as it is exclusively for the phone side. Thus, NO Treo 650 apps can get to it!

    As an example of how users would LIKE to see BT + VoiceSignal, I can point to the Motorola V710 (CDMA Verizon flip phone) where Motorola did the integration between BT audio and phone apps (in this case, not a PDA) and thus when the V710 user is connected via BT, they retain the ability to us VoiceSignal because the BT headset button will launch the VoiceSignal app and the user can control the phone just as if they were holding it up to their head, only this time over BT. So... point is, it can be done as you are probably looking for it... the question really is, when can Treo 650 deliver the same user experience.

    Palmone is very aware of this situation, if from nowhere else than from threads like this, but also from the Produce Reviewers out there who have picked it up. They will address this as soon as they can, but I would not hold my breath for it on 650 since it is an architectural issue.

    As with anything, the more users who ask for it, the more it becomes a priority.

    Our problem at VoiceSignal is that people are viewing this as a knock on the app when it is really out of our control

    In any case, this issue happens to be one that all of us here at VoiceSignal are now raising early on into new handset projects so that our OEM partners can plan accordingly. I expect that it will eventually become a standard and expected capability as more and more devices are launched with BT as well as with VoiceSignal - both of which are relatively new features in the whoe scope of the industry.

    hope this helps...

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-03-2005
    Posts
    3
    Thank you for the clear explanation of the issue. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if palmone does anything about the problem, though the fact that a promise to issue an update for bluetooth headsets seems to have now disappeard from their site doesn't inspire confidence.
    Last edited by gbdrbob; 03-03-2005 at 08:39 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7
    BTW - until P1 gets this issue nailed, no app gets access to BT audio, this means the other VR apps I have read about on this same thread have the same problem. further to the point that it is not an app issue, rather a HW issue.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-03-2005
    Posts
    3
    When you say it's a hardware issue, does that mean you believe that it is not actually possible for palmone to resolve this with an after market software update (i.e any fix for this will be in the next version of the treo at the earliest)?

    Or do you simply mean to restate that it is an issue with the built-in treo os/bluetooth stack (afaik stored in flash rom, which can be updated) and not the voicesignal app.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7
    sorry for the confusion... the latter is the case.

    i confess i don't really know what P1 plans to do to resolve it. so, it may get into a firmware upgrade for 650 or they may punt on this till the next round.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2005
    Posts
    1
    Is there a way to submit bug reports to VoiceSignal?

    I bought the Cingular labeled Treo 650 which means that P1 doesn't support it (they only support the GSM unlocked variants). The P1 web site directs you to Cingular's site and their site/phone techs are clueless.

    I let my VoiceSignal expire cause it never worked. It either took forever to convert names (like over ten hours so I gave up) or bombed (assert error somewhere in what looked like C code). Eventually it started working (I didn't do anything different) but since it didn't work with BT, I gave up and let it lapse). Only strange thing about my config is that I use DATEBK5 as an organizer. This organizer uses the P1 contact database unlike goodlink. Deleting DATEBK5 and trying VoiceSignal again did no good (same problems). I have well under 500 contacts so I doubt I'm hitting the earlier problems in this thread.

    As another thought, a viable scheme for you guys to design around a memory limitation would be to allow users to mark contacts in some way so that only marked contacts are activated for voice dialing. You could do this by category, by some value in some contact field, etc. Probably the easiest is by category -- implement a setting screen feature in your application that lists the contacts DB categories with a check box next to each one indicating whether or not those contacts should be activated.
    Last edited by steve42; 03-09-2005 at 06:22 PM.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-31-2005
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    79
    This is a great idea, to allow users to create a category to use only with VoiceSignal.

    I took another tack, myself. I had over 3000 contacts and so I thought I couldn't use VoiceSignal. THen I realized I had many duplicates in my Outlook contacts. I found an excellent program on the Web for download (cost me a little, not much) that removes dupes. Here's the info in case you need this:

    Outlook Contacts Scrubber 3.0
    TeamScope Software, Inc.
    http://www.teamscope.com
    mailto:info@teamscope.com

    No, I don't work for them. But it worked for me wonderfully. It eliminated about 300 entries, and let me control how the dupes were combined. So now that i was under the 3000 limit, I tried VoiceSignal again. No go. LIke the previous poster said, there were long delays between saying something and the response, and between my saying "Yes" and VS making the phone call. We're talking delays of 10-15 seconds, which are quite annoying. I assumed it was caught in a loop. I also saw a little box appear on the screen with some code in it, presumably an error code, during the process of parsing the Contacts list. Occasionally, the screen went totally white and stayed in that state for 10 seconds or so. So, the moral of the story is that even after paying for a program to help me scrub my Contacts list and getting down under the 3K limit (2713) VoiceSignal's Voice Dial still doesn't work on a new Treo 650 (although I didn't update to the new Treo firmware which frees up more memory). I have four days until it expires. Any suggestions from the VS person who has posted here appreciated.

    Robert Cowart
    Last edited by Robert cowart; 04-01-2005 at 12:20 PM.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7
    Hi, just an FYI - there is an update version in test labs right now that should be available within about a week or so that should deal with the issues you are running into.

    the new version should deal with the speed issues you are experiencing aznd reduce the respone time down dramatically. You are definitely running into a known bug in the memory allocation under the hood - even though you reduced your phonebook size below 3000, somehow the total size of your particualr contact list is still high (relative to a typical contact list). It literally comes down to how many text characters are contained in the total database and if you have a number of entries that are lengthy, it adds up over your entire dbase to put the VST app into the red zone when it comes to speed. the new update version will push the red zone out to a much safer upper limit.

    the error message you reported is actually the engine trying to tell you that it is having a problem.

    This is highly dependent on the parameters of your particular phonebook dbase so it won't happen with all users.

    Regarding the comment about creating a category specifically for VoiceSignal contacts to allow people with high numbers of contacts (+3000) to still use the app - this is one of the approaches we are considering, but it won't be available until later this year unfortunately... but we are working on it. its not a simple fix, otherwise, we would have done it already...

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-31-2005
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    79
    Thanks for your quick reply. Makes a lot of sense. I do have a lot of text in some of note contacts' "Notes" field. So that is what is pushing the limit, I suppose.

    DO you have a product for PPC, or just leave that platform to MS and others?

    Robert Cowart
    Computer book author
    Using Windows XP (Que)
    and 40 other titles

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-02-2005
    Posts
    7
    WE support a ton of other mobile phone platforms, mainly on the "proprietary OS" side like the mass market flip phones from Samsung and Mototola. you can see all of the various devices here:

    http://www.voicesignal.com/products/gallery.php3

    regarding MS specifically, our app is the embedded VR client on the Motorola MPX220 and the various Samsung CDMA PPC and Windows Mobile products on Verizon.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts