So what have we been up to lately at Speak With Me?

I noticed that this week I got five emails from friends asking "So what's been going on?" or something to that effect! I figured this would be the easiest way to tell everyone!

Our economy has been a mess...

We're still raising and have been able to raise money.

We're on track for a really awesome product ready towards the tail end of next year. I hope it doesn't slip!

If you know me or attended the United Cerbral Palsy Foundation Charity event in Philadelphia, you might have an inkling of what the first product might be.

If you don't know me then know that the first product is something for your car.

But Americans aren't buying more cars. That's okay, they still have their current cars, they can put this into them!

The current system has been in my car for 3.5 years and 60,000 miles. Tested in the rain in Seattle while going through a tunnel, tested on the highways of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

I did distraction testing during an aggressive driving course with some friends & some of our investors. Prior to this, the usability tests showed a <1% difference in lap times between using the system while driving and not.

We demonstrated for real, that using Speak With Me's system while driving causes next to no distraction. How? Because the car behind me had trouble keeping up with me. Imagine his surprise when discovering I always had the music I wanted playing, and that my car did not have two turbos. (It does have a clutch-type 100% locking LSD which really helped my corner exit speeds, and the suspension is aligned and corner balanced).

 What about those swanky iPhones, the new Android phones, the new Blackberry Bold & Storm, and the Windows Mobile smartphones? And Google came out with it's voice app this week? Isn't that a competitor?

The speech apps that are out there for mobile phones are using speech recognizers with complex language models. They work - kinda sorta - well they think about working. Are they competitors? Kinda, sorta, but not entirely.

As you can see from this review of Google's voice search added to their mobile app by John Markoff, the NY Times reporter and author of the fabulous book, What The Dormouse Said,

speech recognizers on their own, still aren't up to the task.

Speak With Me is different. We help the recognizer understand context. Think of it as a debriefing session from your assistant before you go on stage. That's how we're more accurate.

 But gosh darn it, why haven't you shipped anything yet so we can try it out?

Because half baked cookies are kinda mushy.  We could get a phone app out faster, but it would sacrifice the time to market of our other key product which is in the GPS market. The two products share some similarities, but have some differences too. One has the data on the device, one has the data in a cloud. So we made a tough decision this week, to stay on track with the GPS product, and hold off on the smartphone related products till we're a bit further along with the GPS product. Back in 2005 when you first read about us from Robert Scoble's Blog or Techcrunch, there were very few devices capable of running our software in the mobile and embedded space. Today there are tons, and everyone - not just Speak With Me, is scrambling to make the best use of the computing power we have today to give everyone fabulous software for their mobile devices. The phone today is like the PC world in the early eighties, I agree with Steve Ballmer on that point.

It is interesting how the internet has really led to much faster demand creation. What if the New York Times had an article about Xerox PARC in the seventies - would we have all had the GUI before the early eighties? I'm curious and I think I'll ask John Markoff and Doug Englebart that question directly in a couple weeks. SRI's doing a 40th anniversary event of the mother of all demos - on December 9th. Doug as you may or may not know, was the inventor of the mouse. Just think, he demoed in 1968 - what we as the public didn't get to use until 1982. Wow.

 So how do you make a good cookie?

By using the highest quality ingredients, like Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips, Organic Cane Sugar, organic eggs, pure vanilla extract and not imitation. Then bake them for the right amount of time. You'll end up with something spectacular, just ask anyone who's eaten my cookies :) When they're ready, you'll know...

 You didn't expect me to tell you the ingredients within Speak With Me, now did you ;)

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