NTT DOCOMO, INC., Japan’s mobile operator and provider of integrated services centered on mobility, has announced that it will roll out a voice-agent application, called Shabette Concier™, that enables customers to obtain a wide range of information and perform diverse tasks simply by speaking into their DOCOMO smartphones next month.
The application, which launches March 1, is for select DOCOMO smartphones running on Android™ 2.2 or higher, and will be available for free (packet communication charges may apply when downloading or using the app).
In response to a verbal question, the app analyzes the inquiry and then provides an answer using information mined from leading content providers, such as Wikipedia, in addition to official content on DOCOMO’s dmenu™ portal site for smartphones. Smartphone tasks, such as creating an email or setting an alarm, also can be carried out by voice commands without having to look at menus.
Voice processing is handled not in the smartphone itself but rather in the cloud via a mobile network-connected server, assuring speed and accuracy regardless of the smartphone’s specs.
The Siri-like voice-activated service launch coincides with Apple’s plans and support for Japanese, and a number of other languages including Chinese, to its virtual personal assistant for the iPhone 4S next month.