My Next-Gen Mobile Platform: A Plain Old Cell Phone plus Jott?

Will I be trading in my BlackBerry for a Plain-Old Cell Phone (POCP) plus Jott?

Will I just say “No thank you” to the iPhone?

These aren’t entirely ridiculous considerations.

Even for the highly mobile tech-set, the POCP plus Jott is surprisingly enabling.


The Jott-enabled POCP provides an impressive bridge between your analog-and-digital selves. A divide otherwise narrowed via high-end handhelds such as BlackBerrys, iPhones, etc.

Not to devalue Jott’s substantial accomplishments to date, but this really is just the beginning.

For example, services like Jott’s might be teamed with ChaCha to involve people directly in high-value search offerings.

Jott: Initial Experiences

About three hours ago I received the Toronto-based access number for Jott.

Since then I’ve been testing out a number of Jott’s features and functionalities.

Overall, I’m very impressed.


Previously I wrote:

I haven’t been particularly impressed by speech-to-text conversion in the past. This will be the gating factor for me.

I then went on, in that same blog post, to quote Jott’s FAQ on this same topic.

In other words, I had fairly modest expectations for the speech-to-text conversion capability.

Frankly, I’m completely blown away with just how good this conversion capability is – and no training is required.

Plain, simple English is transcribed quite accurately. Even technical jargon is represented with a respectable level of accuracy.

In fact, I’ve had more difficulties with the quality of my cell service than with the speech-to-text conversion!

Kudos to Jott for getting this essential element right.

Jott: Now Available in Canada!

Early this year I blogged about Jott.

There was, however, one very significant caveat:

Unfortunately, I cannot attest to how well this actually works.

I live in Canada, and the public beta only supports US-based cell phones -(

I am delighted to report that the US-only restriction no longer applies, as Jott is now available to Canadian-based cell phones!

All you have to do is call 647 724 5814.

(For those that don’t know, 647 is a Toronto-based exchange that handles the overflow from the original 416 exchange. This may also mean that long-distance charges are applicable.)

I’m running through some basic tests and am impressed by what I’ve experienced so far.

Since Canadian-based DICtabrain is apparently dead, this makes Jott’s arrival on the Canadian scene even more compelling.

[Thanks to Shree from Jott for letting all of us know!]

DICtabrain: “Voice Powered Ideas”

In a recent post, I blogged:

… Jott goes a lot farther than my low-tech solution:

  • You call their toll-free number
  • You leave a message – your reminder, to-do, idea, etc.
  • Jott transcribes your message, and delivers the corresponding text to your phone and email

“Obscenely simple … incredibly clever” (Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech). I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, I cannot attest to how well this actually works.

I live in Canada, and the public beta only supports US-based cell phones -(

Fortunately, there’s great news for us Canucks as DICtabrain is developing a similar solution 🙂

Although I expect to have more to blog about soon, it’s worth noting that DICtabrain:

  • Makes an explicit connection to blogging
  • Is looking for alpha-trial participants
  • Has their own blog

Some may be nonplussed by services like DICtabrain’s or Jott’s.

As DICtabrain’s James Woods blogs:

Some people will never understand the benefits of voice powered writing while others seem to be waiting for it with baited breath.

I think the reason for this disconnect is the creative process itself.

Some people need to internalize their creative process by working things through inside their heads.

Others need to externalize it. And its for the externalizers that frameworks like GTD and solutions like DICtabrain’s make complete and total sense. In DICtabrain’s words: “Good ideas are only valuable if they can be remember[ed] and then actioned.

With Jott and DICtabrain appearing on the scene with similar solutions within the past 3-4 months, it’s clear that there’s something interesting happening.

Perhaps Jott and DICtabrain have glommed onto a disruptive innovation.

What are they disrupting?

How about the dictaphone + analog/digital voice recorders + voicemail + technology for action management methods.


That’s an impressive disruption, and one of the reasons why companies like DICtabrain and Jott are likely to draw attention from the likes of:

  • Traditional dictaphone companies – ??
  • Consumer electronics companies – Apple, Sony, etc.
  • Telcos/Networking companies – Cisco, Nortel, Skype, etc.
  • Software companies – Google, Microsoft, Nuance, etc.
  • And others

With unified messaging a key deliverable of enterprise-class traditional PBX and VoIP solutions, injecting the DICtabrain or Jott solution into the mix could be quite interesting. For example when you have robust IP connectivity, you have the networked equivalent of Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking in Skype + (DICtabrain or Jott) … and potentially more!

To re-quote Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech: “Obscenely simple … incredibly clever”.

Let me close (again) with a small dose of realism:

I haven’t been particularly impressed by speech-to-text conversion in the past. This will be the gating factor for me.