>The Blackberry Skitter

>After the burial of Oratio I linked to last week, I was very interested when the same site posted an interview with Michel Pepin of Humanware, all about Oratio.

Ok, what is up with this guy. Is half the problem that French is his first language? He does a lot of stammering and stuttering, and I can’t be sure if he’s just searching for the right words from a language standpoint, or if he’s desperately searching for the right words to not make the product look like complete and utter crap.

First off, he spends a lot of time talking about how this was a whole new product, a whole new platform, and they had to start from scratch. He keeps saying that when Talks and Mobilespeak started up 10 or 15 years ago, they didn’t work with many phones and didn’t support a lot, and he can’t remember if they cost more back then.

Right out of the gate, he looks dumb. He works with Code Factory. He can find out exactly when the first version of Mobilespeak was created, and it certainly wasn’t 15 years ago. I’d also be willing to bet that it wasn’t ten years ago. Talks, known back then as TalkX, was released for the first time in December of 2002, as this episode of Main Menu shows. I’m pretty sure Mobile Accessibility came out around the same time, and Mobilespeak shortly after. The guy looks really dumb when he can’t even remember when the product came out, and he ballparks it, and lands way off the mark. I’m not a cell phone expert, but I remember 15 years ago, and what phones looked like backthen. They didn’t have cameras, multiple applications, or the ability to even text, I don’t think. Was Symbian even in existence? So, the need had not arisen for Talks. Sure it would have been nice to navigate some of the settings with speech, but you could, for the most part, get by without it.

And when Talks came out, it may have supported one phone, but judging from that podcast, it supported it well. Also, Talks has always cost $295, so no, it was not more expensive back then. That is why people are nervous about the $449. They can’t foresee it coming down. Blinky tech never comes down in price. It just doesn’t. Look at JAWS, the Braille Note, or Trekker just to name a few.

This whole setup for Oratio sounds dumb. The reason it doesn’t work on other carriers is because the other carriers haven’t implemented some other code line that Oratio needs so that the speech will work? Whaaat? We’re now dependent on other third party things so this will work? If that’s the way things are going, it will never fly. There are too many opportunities for something else to stand in the way.

This guy talks out of both sides of his mouth half the time. Oratio can help you do text messaging, but it can’t. It gives you on par access to the Blackberry, but forget HTML email and web-browsing. Those upgrades will be a major upgrade, but they’ll be a minor one. You will have to pay for them but you won’t. Dude, think before you speak. I’m more confused after listening to the interview than I was at the beginning.

I think this interview was an attempt at damage-control, but it just heaped on more damage. I certainly would not even think about a Blackberry anytime soon, if ever.

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