Interview with AdelaVoice CEO Chris Hassett yields more details about the Lighthouse SQ7 social media tablet
Let’s start with the question most people will be asking first: why should I buy a $250 tablet dedicated to social media?
The Lighthouse SQ7 is going to be a tough sell for those with smart phones who can already pull up their Facebook and Twitter accounts on the go. The primary draw of the SQ7 is the integrated voice recognition feature. If you want to post something to Facebook, simply press the Facebook button on the touch screen, hold down the record button and say your post. You can review it on screen before posting. Same goes with Twitter, browser addresses, searches and text input. AdelaVoice has developed voice recognition software specifically for the SQ7. In fact, one of the primary reasons for getting the SQ7 on the market is to showcase its voice recognition software.
A constant complaint and reason quoted by people who think tablets won’t succeed is that there’s no good method for tactile input. AdelaVoice wants to forgo on-screen keyboards and writing-to-text conversion by having it come straight from horse’s mouth, so to say. They’re focused on developing dependable software that can learn speech patterns and bypass accent trouble — and they’re convinced that they have it integrated into the SQ7. Hassett quoted a 95% success rate with the software designed in conjunction with Vlingo (who has already design voice recognition aps for Google and AT&T). The software can pickup acoustic and grammar differences and already has US and Canadian English dialects mapped out. You can also read in punctuation while you’re talking. Simply say “comma,” “exclamation point” or “period” and it interprets the symbol. They’re currently working on an International version that could open this software up to the world.
In addition to what Hassett says is superior voice recognition, the larger size is a benefit over smart phones. The ease of reading Twitter or Facebook on a 7-inch screen rather than a 3.5-inch screen (like that found on the iPhone) is a huge plus. You can also set your phone to a real-time updates screen that will put Facebook and Twitter posts on screen as they’re being posted. One also can’t forget the WebKit internet browser that is on the device. It allows you to surf the internet on the 800×480 resolution screen. Much like the iPhone it cannot play flash, but does have all the other plugins included.
Hassett is also quick to point out that Facebook, Twitter, web browsing and digital picture frame capabilities won’t be the only tricks of the Lighthouse SQ7. It uses aps much like the iPhone and Android-based phones and they’re working on Google Calendar and YouTube programs that will be upgraded onto the device via WiFi once ready. There are also more upgrades for the device in the pipeline — including a port of Android.
When all is said and done, AdelaVoice isn’t looking for the Lighthouse SQ7 to compete with smart phones. They see the SQ7 matching a certain price point and being adopted by those who want a larger social media and internet surfing device than the iPod Touch. AdelaVoice is even working on iPhone and Android based versions of the applications currently found in the SQ7. Their goal is to show how well their voice recognition can work and how it can be integrated into more devices like tablets. If they can show that then one of the most pressing questions regarding tablet adoption could be answered — why touch when you can talk?