We've all seen that horrifically graphic PSA from the U.K. with the carefree youths severely injured in a texting-while-driving incident. Now imagine this alternate universe: Instead of ending up as roadkill on the highway, the driver uses a voice-command service and dictates her message, never taking her eyes off the road. Now she and her passengers get to their destination unscathed, and her text still gets sent.
In fact, such a service is available in this universe: Voice Terminal Service (VTS). It's intended for the blind, but anyone can get it, and it's cheap. Just call one number, and you'll be quickly dictating and sending e-mails, checking your Google calendar, and even getting sports and weather read to you from the Web. The company behind it, Audiopoint, uses sophisticated voice recognition and stenographers to bring VTS to its more than 100,000 users. Most are visually impaired, but many are just people looking for a safe way to stay connected while driving. Monthly plans start at $5, and it's free for veterans.
The usefulness of a service like this — especially to the blind — is clear, though it could use a couple extra features to make the Web "connection" more two-way (a Twitter service maybe?). And how come no one else is in on the voice-to-data game? Google…?