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StartTalking Demo: A Safer Way to Text and Drive (video)



I caught up with the guys from Adelavoice last week at GigaOm’s Mobilizie 2010 conference in San Francisco. They were showing off StartTalking, an Android app that can help curb the dangers of Texting While Driving (TWD).

The dangers of TWD are very real and arguably far worse than simply talking on a mobile phone while driving. While many cars have built-in hands free systems for placing and receiving calls, there aren’t any equivalents to handle text messages.  The result? Drivers pick up their phones, shift their focus to read the text and type with their thumbs to reply.

Comunicano’s StartTalking app allows Android device users to send voice messages and text messages with their voices. It’s 100% hands free and ‘eyes free.’ One thing that I really like about StartTalking is that it’s always listening, even when the display is off. In fact, the company recommends using the the app with the screen turned off to prevent distractions even further and to maximize battery life.

StartTalking uses Google’s built-in voice recognition engine and it seems to perform pretty well. If it doesn’t play nicely with your diction, you can simply command the app to send a recording of your voice.

You can download the Android app today over at An iPhone equivalent is coming soon.

If you’re still texting while driving or know someone that is, take a look at this horrific public service announcement.



  1. GTaylor

    10/05/2010 at 7:51 am

    C’mon Xavier, you know that what matters is all of life and not just the tech of it.
    I have to take evasive action more than twice a week to avoid Distracted Drivers. I don’t care if they are texting, talking, or shooting at the pedestrians, when someone is not thinking about the Driving environment then they don’t have time to refocus and reevaluate the situation when it suddenly changes. If I did care what they are doing then I would be distracted too.
    If you see what I mean here, yes, even thinking about something too much, other than the drive, can be a serious distraction. Please remember, driving is so risky that there is usually precious little time for anything else to occupy the mind, and the conditions deteriorate fast from there. No one is all mighty enough to claim the right to risk other people’s lives.

    • Xavier Lanier

      10/05/2010 at 8:04 am

      GTaylor- I agree that safety is always first. I don’t think this is the ultimate answer, but it’s a heck of a lot better than people texting with their thumbs while driving.

      • GTaylor

        10/05/2010 at 12:10 pm

        Yes safety is first, we seem to disagree on the amount of time it takes to go from one thinking process to another and how critical that gap may be. Laughing and talking to passengers may be enough of a distraction to cause nearly as many accidents as substance impairment. How many times have you not heard what someone said to you while you were occupied doing something, or how many times did something that you wanted to see go by on the screen because you were explaining it to someone?
        My point was, is any intentional, avoidable, distraction worth the results of a motor vehicle accident?
        Remember the fast IT guy on the phone passing you on the right?

  2. Medic

    10/05/2010 at 1:56 pm

    What about windows mobile devices?

  3. Alan

    10/09/2010 at 10:03 am

    Good link to the Welsh public information film – very hard-hitting.

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