Embarq wireless has introduced a new text-to-landline service for their wireless customers. The new service will automatically convert text messages sent to landlines into speech, with no extra fees other than standard messaging rates. The competitive advantage of Embarq’s new service is that they have built an entire dictionary of commonly used SMS acronyms and shorthand, which are translated by the system.
For instance, if you texted ‘LOL, Ricky, U R my BFF’ to my landline, I would get a recording that says, “Laugh out loud, Ricky, you are my best friend forever.”
Sprint also has this service, though I have not seen it advertised at all. It is listed as a feature on their text messaging information page, however. Sprint’s service does not appear to have the cool acronym dictionary, and I have not been able to test the accuracy of either system. One thing I can say, however, is that with Embarq and Sprint, in addition to services such as Spinvox, the speech-to-text and text-to-speech arena is getting interesting.