LAS VEGAS—Mobile phones should be used more often for personal dictation, said Gerald Marolda, CEO of a startup called VoiceCloud.
VoiceCloud makes a real-time, voice-to-text transcription service and hopes to get the attention of carriers with a beta version at the CTIA Wireless 2008 show.
Existing telephone-based dictation services take too long to work because they typically involve multiple layers of outsourcing, Marolda said. “We were seeing things take 20-40 minutes,” he said. “We could do this via streaming technology, and have our agents on the line at the same time the voicemail is being left, and immediately start the transcription. Every transcribed message is done by a human,” he explained.
Marolda says that by keeping his transcriptionists in-house, VoiceCloud can serve as a security blanket to the end user. But no human is infallible.
“Everybody’s got their price. But in the big picture, all of these companies are using outsourcers, and some of them are outsourcing the outsourcers. With us, everybody we hire is a college graduate and is background-checked. They all sign security agreements. They don’t see the number the message is coming from … we’re in control of the ball from start to finish,” he said. Users also can tag certain numbers to a do-not-transcribe list, he said.
In the future, VoiceCloud may offer voicemail language translation services. The company included unlimited storage and has the unique ability for users to conduct keyword searches. Another option they’re considering is the design of client applications for an increasing number of mobile operating systems; they already have an Apple iPhone version.
The company, based in San Diego, is entirely self-funded by Marolda and his business partner Sam Afifi. Pricing is not yet announced, but there will be different tiers of services and the first month will be free, Marolda said.