Zumba: The cloud mobile that's hands free


Voice recognition has been around for a while now, and has really progressed from the days where you had to enunciate re-ally slowly in order for your menu system to understand ( and woe betide you if you had an accent/cold). Despite technology having advanced in leaps and bounds from those days, voice technology tends to be used more as an aside than as the be all end all. We’ve just heard news of the Zumba, a dinky credit card sized phone that aims to revolutionise voice protocol, as it claims to be the most sensitive voice phone.. EVER.

Though they say they aim to get in into stores this summer, the fact that they can’t demonstrate a working handset seems a little fishy to me. We do get to look at the prototype though and it’s not really the most attractive of phones. Palm sized, it separates into two parts, a large plastic ear piece and a small box with a selection of large buttons presented on it. The idea is that you wear the earpiece and then verbally instruct the Zumba to dial contacts for you. It also lets you dictate text messages, which is a nice touch.

The concept behind the phone is twofold, as on one hand it lets you have your hands free whilst at work, and it’s also good for those who have issues spelling words, as the amount of typing you have to do is very limited. It’s no surprise then that the chief designer Dean McEvoy is actually dyslexic…

What I like about this phone is the idea that all you contacts and texts are stored securely on a mobile cloud network, as nothing is more frustrating than losing your phone and seeing your beloved contact list trickle its way into nothing,

And that’s all folks, Yes, no word on camera, GPS or any of the usual crowd, but then again it could be tricky to navigate a website based on voice alone. I’m not sure of this service is going to take off as its seems to be a random mash up of a Bluetooth headset coupled with the Spinvox service, but it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

[via Wired]

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Zara Rabinowicz