Glympse and TravellingWave Step Out, Microsoft Does Voice Search, and More Mobile News

10/7/09Follow @gthuang

It’s been a very busy week for news in the mobile industry. First, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) rolled out a one-click mobile payments service that promises to shake up the world of mobile-app developers and distributors. Then it seems like all hell broke loose, courtesy of the massive CTIA wireless expo going on in San Diego through this Friday.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening in mobile-device interfaces, iPhone apps, and other mobile news from the Northwest:

—In the area of speech interfaces, Seattle-based TravellingWave announced today at CTIA its “voice-powered text prediction” application for mobile phones. The idea is to combine keyboard-based text input prediction with speech recognition so you don’t need to press as many buttons, while keeping the text-entry process accurate and simple to use. TravellingWave was founded in 2004 and is backed by its founder, angel investors, and grants from the National Science Foundation.

—Not to be outdone, Microsoft’s Bing and Sprint said today that the upcoming Samsung Intrepid smartphone (available Oct. 11), which runs on Windows Mobile, will incorporate Microsoft’s Tellme software to enable consumers to use their voice to dial contacts, compose text messages, and search the Web for business listings, cafes, weather and traffic reports, maps, and directions. It’s the first mobile device to use Tellme, as far as I can tell.

—Seattle-area startup Glympse, which focuses on mobile location sharing, announced yesterday it has been selected as a “showcase” application within Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft’s recently announced mobile app store. So Glympse is now available on Windows phones with GPS, and is in private beta trials on the iPhone. Back in May, Glympse first launched its service on T-Mobile phones with Google’s Android operating system, and CEO Bryan Trussel talked with me about the company’s strategy.

—Who knew that developers in Portland, OR, had put out so many iPhone apps? Silicon Florist reported yesterday that the region is responsible for making more than 40 apps in the iTunes store, including prominent ones from Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, and Zipcar. The list also includes Stanza, the hit e-book app developed by Lexcycle, which was co-founded by Portland resident Marc Prud’hommeaux. Lexcycle has since been absorbed into Amazon. (Don’t mess with Seattle.)

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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