Indian American develops software to help motorists


Los Angeles : A tech firm owned by an Indian American has developed a software that combines speech-recognition and text messaging to provide free directions to motorists.

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Dial Directions, a California based firm, began its services early this week in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York with the promise of turning a cell phone into a global positioning system (GPS) and search-enabled device.

The software can work on any mobile phone, the online edition of San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Users need to call a particular number from their cell phone and begin explaining where they want to go, either an address or an intersection. The voice recognition service analyses the data and directs the user.

"We're saying it's super-easy to access directions; you just dial on your cell phone," said Amit Desai, founder of Dial Directions. "If you can make a phone call, you can get directions."

Presently, the service is free, but includes a short advertisement at the end of the text message.

Desai built on the experience he gathered after co-founding another firm Voxify, a speech service that was used by airlines for reservation services. He said he worked to improve the algorithms to take on the larger task of delivering directions in a fast, accurate and easy way.

Desai said Dial Directions is in talks with various companies to use the technology. He said it could be used by search engines, online reservation services and real estate companies, among others.