It seems like you can do pretty much anything through Facebook — register to vote, discover a new playlist, find out which of your friends is in a complicated relationship — except hold a verbal conversation. Wondervoice for Facebook is here to fix that. The new voice-activated iOS application allows users to listen to their news feeds and music their friends are sharing, as well as post status updates, all without lifting a finger.
The app is something like Siri — Apple’s voice-activated assistant for the iPhone 4S and 5 — for Facebook. Launched at the recent Dublin App Summit, WonderVoice for Facebook has become popular in the U.S. and Canada. People who are actively doing something, but still want access to their Facebook, are the target demographic for the app.
WonderVoice for Facebook saw that there was a definite need for a hands-free Facebook helper, as 604 million people use Facebook on their mobile devices. The company also cited a statistic showing that 40 percent of U.S. mobile users admit to checking Facebook while driving. While some other apps enhance accessibility by audibly reading Facebook status updates and posts, WonderVoice for Facebook is a two-way communication app, allowing users to scroll through their news feeds or post updates using just their voices.
The app also allows users to listen to messages and hear if friends are nearby.
WonderVoice for Facebook spokesman Dvir Reznik spoke with AllFacebook about the app:
Our end game is really to tie it all together so that when you are saying a status update, it says, “I’m sitting with Paul and Mark,” and it will understand that those are friends that you’re sitting with, and it will tag them on Facebook and add the location on Foursquare. We started out with Facebook because there are 1 billion people who are using it, and you have something like 600 million people on mobile. It was a very convenient market for us to launch into … Most of us are (on Facebook) while we’re driving, and we’re looking for ways to make it more accessible.
Although Reznik said WonderVoice does not condone Facebooking while driving in any manner, the company understands that there are some people who need to remain connected to their phones, and he hopes that these drivers will choose a safer alternative for interacting with the site on the go.
WonderVoice for Facebook is available through the App Store in the U.S. and Canada for $1.99 on the iPhone 3GS through iPhone 5. Reznik said the company are working on bringing this capability to Android phones, as well as expanding into other social networks, such as Twitter.
Readers: Do you think WonderVoice is a sound idea?