Cons: Expensive; wouldn't work with Virgin Mobile
Bottomline: Handy for business users but too expensive for most of us
Spinvox calls itself the world’s first voice-to-screen messaging system.
When you sign up, it intercepts voicemail messages that are left in your mobile phone’s voicemail box.
It then uses speech-recognition technology to convert the spoken messages into text messages that can be sent back to the mobile phone or to an email address (or both, if you prefer).
It can also send email messages to other types of handheld device, such as the popular Blackberry.
It won’t appeal to everyone – in fact, many people will probably consider the whole thing to be completely unnecessary, but we can imagine that there are others who get stuck in places where they can’t use their phone who might want to use Spinvox to reroute voice messages to email, or save them as text messages to read later.
There’s a price to be paid for this convenience, though, and it works out at a fairly hefty 20-30p per message, depending on the tariff. Each option allows you to convert a specific number of voicemails into text. The Spin10 option, for instance, costs £3 and will convert 10 messages at 30p per message, while Spin50 offers 50 messages for £10. There are other plans available if those don't suit.
That’s a bit pricey, but to keep costs under control you have the ability to turn Spinvox on and off whenever you want to. So you might turn it on just before going into a long meeting where you can’t be interrupted, and then turn it off and return to normal voicemail once you’ve had a chance to catch up with your messages.
It’s a little expensive for underpaid hacks such as ourselves, but if you’re one of those high-flying business users who needs to get every message as quickly as possible then you might well find that the convenience offered by Spinvox is worth it. There’s also a week-long trial available on their web site if you want to check it out first.