How far has Speech Recognition software come since Dragon Speak? Voice to text is picking up some momentum. Rich Tehrani writes about Visual Voicemail with SpinVox, SimulScribe and GotVoice as ways to get voicemail as an email.
I would think that mobile people would rather have voicemail as an MP3 or WAV file. It is easier to listen to voicemail while driving or running through an airport than reading it. Also, a hot button for UC for small business is the ability to forward the whole voicemail message with vm attached to co-workers to handle tasks while out of office.
SimulScribe already has some traction with smaller phone companies including FreedomVoice, M5 in NYC, and Hunt Telecom in Louisiana as well as with the Big Boys (Alltel, Ma Bell, VZW, T-Mobile). All 3 small carriers have found success with SimulScribe (i.e., it works). I only have a trial I did with SpinVox to say that it works better than Jott. SpinVox is from the UK and has US carriers, Alltel and Cincinnati Bell.
Jott is a note taker. You dial a number; give the name of the email addressee; then clearly speak the message you want texted. Luckily, Jott also offers a link to your original recording because for my telecom notes it is frequently wrong. (But that might be an unfair test).
It looks like we are getting to the point where we can have text or voice (which is a plus for the visually impaired). It just depends on your preference. I wonder when the reading will improve. You know, that mechanical voice that "reads" the words aloud. I would suggest a British or Southern voice ;)
I'd like to point out that these services were brought to you from a third party, not your "Innovative" carrier. While Bell Labs may be in the rebuilding stage (and the US lacks the necessary PhD's required to do all the research), it is the start-ups that are driving innovation and creativity. So the next time you read how Ma Bell or VZ proclaim to the FCC or Congress that they need deregulation, please write the governing body about the lack of invention. (No R&D budget but a hefty lobbying and legal budget?? What's with that?!)