Microsoft: Smartphone users prefer voice commands to typing

A study released today reveals that smartphone users are more inclined to buy a device that offers them the ability to push one button, say what they want and get it, making them more efficient on the go.

The research, conducted by Sanderson Studios for Tellme Networks Inc., a Microsoft subsidiary, shows that 75 percent of people would choose a smartphone that allows them to compose a text message, search the Web or dial a contact simply by speaking, rather than by typing or using a touch screen. The study also reveals that cell phone etiquette seems to be evolving, with an overwhelming majority of respondents saying they would feel comfortable using voice to perform tasks in places such as a restaurants and gyms.

Most people use smartphones while conducting other tasks in order to make better use of their time. Those surveyed say they use their smartphones while shopping or running errands (88 percent), waiting at appointments (80 percent), walking between places (78 percent), visiting friends (68 percent) and in many other places, such as while eating at restaurants, commuting, exercising or attending school. While typing and touching are not perceived as difficult, respondents acknowledge that using their smartphones in these situations can be distracting.

If given the option to simply push a button and speak to call or text a friend or search for information, such as the location of a restaurant, directions or stock quotes, most say they could accomplish more and feel less distracted.

If this study is any indication, it seems that cell phone etiquette is changing. While some respondents said they would feel awkward using their voice with their smartphone at a restaurant, 71 percent said they would feel just fine doing so. An overwhelming majority of respondents said they would feel comfortable using voice to perform tasks on their smartphones while walking (93 percent), exercising (92 percent), and shopping or running errands (87 percent).

Not surprisingly, studies also show that the ability to use voice to perform tasks and get information while in the car is also very popular. In another study performed by Sanderson Studios, people who spend at least one hour in their car five or more days per week while regularly using their phone overwhelmingly like the idea of using their voice to get what they need (90 percent). Convenience and safety were cited as key reasons these respondents wanted to use their voice to perform tasks while driving.

Tellme is already integrated into the Ford SYNC™ Service Delivery Network, the in-vehicle communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft Corp. that allows playing music, making hands-free phone calls and getting traffic, directions and information all with the power of their voice. Tellme also announced the first mobile voice service to combine content and communications, due out on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones this fall.

Read more here.

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