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This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.
Smartphones, tablet computers and e-readers have become a part of everyday life for many people. They have also led to an explosion in the number of mobile applications. There is an app for just about anything you can think of. And more and more apps are being created every day.
Robert DiNozzi is a Hollywood movie producer. He is perhaps most well-known as the executive producer of “Flight Plan,” the two thousand five movie starring actress Jodie Foster.
His most recent claim to fame is as co-developer of a brand new app called “VoiceCal.” It is a mobile calendar app that uses voice recognition software. Users are able to enter appointments into their iPhone calendar without having to type in the information.
ROBERT DiNOZZI: “I have a mobile phone but in order to put anything in my calendar, I had to pull over, stop what I was doing or wait until I got somewhere to remember to do it because it was such an arduous process of hunting and pecking and typing in with my fingers. And it got to the point where I just wasn’t using the calendar on my iPhone and neither was anybody else that I knew.”
Robert DiNozzi decided there had to be a better way. So he teamed up with a friend who is a developer. The two used voice recognition software from a company called Nuance to build “VoiceCal.”
ROBERT DiNOZZI: “When you launch VoiceCal you can speak any event that you want to go into your calendar and you can speak it in a natural way. For example, you can say ‘on Tuesday at five p.m. pick up Dad at the office.’ And that will appear instantly on your iPhone’s calendar.”
If you have two or more events to add to the calendar, you separate them by using the word “also.” Mr. DiNozzi says all of this can be done hands-free.
ROBERT DiNOZZI: “In settings you can make it fully automatic, so I don’t have to touch anything. I launch the app, and I can speak an event and I can see the event show up and it confirms automatically. I don’t have to touch a single thing. That’s huge for people who don’t have assistants to call and who are walking down the street or driving their car.”
Robert DiNozzi says there is a great need for an app like “VoiceCal” among busy businessmen like himself. He hopes the app will be successful over the long term.
ROBERT DiNOZZI: “In the movie business you can do all the advertising in the world and that can get you a great opening weekend. But, if the movie’s not good it will die off. So really what supports a film, just like what supports an app, is word of mouth.”
Matt Kozlov is the head of a start-up technology company called “Moonshark” in Los Angeles, California. The company makes game apps for mobile devices.
MATT KOZLOV: “It's an exploding marketplace, right now. There are hundreds of millions of devices out there right now that we can reach. And these devices have really turned eight-year-old kids, forty-year-old moms into gamers in a way that we've never seen before.”
Jennifer Lopez is helping Moonshark with a finger break-dancing game called "Dance Pad.” The company is also working with film director John Woo on an action game expected to be released at the end of this year.
And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms, with additional reporting by Elizabeth Lee. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com. We're also on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.