Debbie loves this one. Alvin posted last week about Jott, a service that lets you use your cell phone to send yourself reminders. That’s cooler than it sounds. Here’s how it works: you call the service with your phone. It identifies you by your callerid. It asks you who you want to send a message to. You can select yourself, or anyone whose address you have uploaded. You then record the message and hang up. The message can be up to 30 seconds long.

JottThe service takes your audio, converts it to text, and emails it to the person you’ve specified. If you enter a phone number, it also sends a text message to that person’s phone with the text of your message.

Amazingly, the speech recognition software is very good. I’ve used the site a few times and have only had a few minor mistakes.

So what? Here are the applications that have come up in the three days since we started using it:

  • I’ve received several emailed reminders from my wife this weekend about various things. When I’m at home, I rarely have my cell phone one, and we don’t have a land line. But email isn’t ususally very far away. I know, I’m a geek.
  • John Rundag commented on Alvin’s blog that he listens to podcasts in the car, and Jotts himself with an address or resource to look up later. I’ve taken a lot of heat from the EdTech community over the last year after admitting to taking notes in the car while driving and listening to podcasts. This may help get me to and from work safely.
  • My Dad is very excited about this. He needs to email people all the time, sending short messages, reminders, followups, etc. The problem is that he’s not the best typist in the world. He can use Jott to send these messages and improve his productivity immensely. Did I mention that it supports groups? You can send a message to a whole group of people if you want.
  • We’re going to be sans Internet access for a week or so starting Wednesday. Debbie suggested tying Jott into Twitter. We can record a message on our phones and tweet it out. That’s pretty cool, since we don’t have a data plan on our cell phones, so we can’t send directly to Twitter from them.
  • I’m trying to figure out a way to integrate it with our emergency notification system. We use a system that notifies staff, students, and parents in the event of a schoolwide emergency or weather related cancellation. If we were to add the Jott number to one of those lists, it might be theoretically possible to have that message go to a special email address, which then gets monitored by a server process. The text is then extracted and posted to the web site. So audio emergency announcements are automatically posted to the web site in text format. That’s pretty cool. I’m not sure we’ll actually do it, but it does illustrate the possibilities.

Author: John Schinker

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