Start Talking: totally hands-free text messaging is here

AdelaVoice has released an application called StartTalking for Android phones (iPhone app coming soon) which allows you to compose, hear and respond to text messages without touching a single button on your phone. StartTalking is different from existing applications in that you don’t even touch the device to get it to start listening to you and sending your messages. It is completely voiced-controlled.

To begin, you assign a name to your phone (say, “Computer” or “Jeeves”). When you want the phone to pay attention to your message, you wake it up by saying its name. This ensures that noise in the car, conversation, and music do not inadvertently wake up the phone. Then you issue commands, dictate and send your messages — no hands! You can also listen to your messages.

Currently in open beta, StartTalking works with smartphones running Android 2.0 or later and is now available for download from the Android Marketplace or by using an Android phone’s browser to visit Visitors using personal computers to the StartTalking website can also send an SMS download link to their Android phone. StartTalking works with wired headsets or the Android handset’s speakerphone function.

AdelaVoice is working on an iPhone application. Founders Chris Hassett (co-founder of PointCast and PrizePoint Entertainment) and John Nogrady (co-founder, PrizePoint Entertainment) estimate that the iPhone app will be ready early next year. StartTalking uses Google’s speech recognition engine which gets better at guessing the words you are speaking the more you and other people use it (it looks at context, learns accents).

The basic version of StartTalking will be free of charge (Chris and John are intent on making the world safe from people texting while driving). There will be a paid, premium version which will allow you to post messages to Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and Evernote for a one-time fee of $20.

NOTE: I still think that talking on the phone, even hands-free, is a distraction, and that the best way to avoid accidents is just to pay attention to driving and not talk, text, change the songs on your iPod, daydream, and so on.

AdelaVoice is based in Boston and funded by Stage 1 Ventures (Waltham, Massachusetts). It launched StartTalking yesterday at the Mobilize Conference organized by GigaOm in San Francisco.


  1. dave Pope says

    I’m blind and unable to use the compulsory text facility of my mobile phone contract, when will a system be available and what phones will it work on.

  2. dave its already available on android market and also a handy thing with this app is if you cant find your phone you call out its name and it will speak back to you until you find it

  3. I wish start talking would come to iphone. You’ve wrote about this program coming to iPhone for awhile now.

  4. Here is a great app for Android that has hands free texting. You can also email, call, dial, make list, make notes all by voice.

  5. When will this app be available for iPhone?

  6. oscar irumba says

    I really wanted this start talk app but the problem is that it’s not available. Am using an android phone and the message i got said that the app can not be found.