More than just a word in your ear
A firm based in Melbourne, Australia has developed an innovative extension to the mobile phone SMS system, dubbed the SAM (Short Audio Message), that will now allow users to listen to their text messages.
Developed by Famoice, the new system is relatively easy to use. A user first types into their phone a text message and attaches 'interesting' sounds, some of which are rather rude, simply by typing the name of the sound that he wishes to have delivered with the message.
Then, he selects a 'voice' with which he wishes his message to be read out to the recipient. At the moment, there are three options - Robot, Scotty and Mandy.
Once the SAM system receives the message, it runs it through a text to speech converter which converts it into voice, adds the sound effects and sends it to off the telephone number selected by the user.
According to a report in the Australian Herald Sun newspaper, the new SMS technology is to be rolled out in Australia, Singapore and England within a month. In the report, it was claimed that a British Telecom subsidiary had already signed up for the technology and five other British companies were in talks.