Tegic Communications has announced the availability of their new T9 Discovery Tool, a software application that will allow consumers to locate or discover content and information, whether on their cellphone or on the mobile web, in just a few keystrokes. Wireless Watch Japan caught up with Tony De Ruvo, director of product marketing, at the recent Marcus Evans 3G Forum here in Tokyo for an advanced preview and chat on-camera about the new product.
Of course, many people in the industry believe that complex menu navigation and portal designs are a major obstacle to accessing content and services, and consider this to be a limiting factor to greater data service uptake and growth. According to the company press release, the T9 Discovery Tool uses unique insights that Tegic has gained from shipping their T9 predictive text entry software in 62 languages on over two billion phones to make mobile search and discovery fast and easy.
The Discovery Tool search interface can be instantly activated from the idle screen, delivering immediate access to menu areas, applications and stored content on the device and to operator content and services held on the network. Improving the speed, discovery, and re-use of operator services, this new tool may help open up new revenue opportunities for carriers by making it dramatically easier for consumers to discover or search for content and services, whether held on or off the operator portal.
The T9 Discovery Tool significantly improves the mobile user experience by reducing the frustration of having to remember menus paths or the locations of specific applications, features and content within the device’s menus, offering a simple, repeatable way to access features and content on the phone. It intelligently learns to adapt its behaviour based on user interaction over time, reordering and predicting frequently searched terms using the industry leading, patented algorithms from XT9/T9 software. Using the T9 Discovery Tool is extremely simple: typing ‘r-i’ for example, can take the user directly to ringtones on the mobile device, whilst typing ‘m-a’ might bring up a mapping application, a Madonna ringtone, contact information for ‘Mark’, digit dialling for stored numbers beginning with 62 or other content or device features beginning with those letters.
Designed to complement a device’s existing look and feel, the T9 Discovery Tool doesn’t change how the user interface or menu areas on the phone look or perform, but works alongside these elements and enhances them by placing all menu areas just a couple of clicks away from the idle screen. This eliminates the need for users to back out and re-enter menu areas, and reduces the confusion and frustration associated with relocating and relearning forgotten menu paths and content location.
Says Mike Wehrs, Tegic’s chief technical evangelist: “In the mid-90s, Tegic invented a way to make text input easier and more efficient on mobile phones, thus increasing operators’ global revenue opportunity from SMS-based services. Eleven years later with over two billion T9 shipments and more than 200 issued patents, Tegic introduces the T9 Discovery Tool to address the fundamental problem of how to quickly and easily connect consumers with mobile content, applications or services. The industry has seen how users vote with their feet if they can’t find what they’re looking for whenever they want it. Mobile search needs to address important device usability issues around finding, buying and accessing mobile content to really enable new services to engage with and excite subscribers. The T9 Discovery Tool makes it much easier for consumers to find what they want on their phones, on their operator’s portals and on the wider Internet without them needing to understand exactly where it might be located.”
More details via the Tegic 3GSM website here.
– WWJ Editors