On March this year, the service which is the answer to Apple IOS’ Siri was released by NTT Docomo for Android. It enables customers to obtain a wide range of information and perform diverse tasks simply by speaking into their Docomo smartphones and tablets. Remember, this service is in Japan only and the whole thing is in Japanese language. Communication in other langauges is not an option because it may be confusing to the device and besides, NTT Docomo is the leading Japanese Telco company. Maybe I can call that the leading ISP in Japan but I may be wrong. The app may be free but be careful, packet communication charges may apply when downloading or using the app. The app is an advanced voice-activated user interface that enables customers to intuitively and directly operate services and smartphone features with voice commands similar to IOS’ Siri. In response to a verbal question, for example, the app analyzes the inquiry and then provides an answer using the information mined from leading content providers in addition to official content on Docomo’s dmenu portal site. You can also make tasks with voice commands as well but you have to ensure that you’re making sense of whatever you say or you may have to amend on whatever you find it unacceptable due to your mistakes.
As the app searches for online information based on what you say for combined information, it will eventually take technical actions based on the tasks or perhaps the questions you ask like they will be answered with information given back to you so this whole voice processing is in the cloud via mobile network.
The launch of the app follows Translator Phone, an auto-interpretation trial cloud service that Docomo introduced in November last year. What is Translator Phone? Does it do all the translation for you? If that’s the case, stick on Google Translate on your Android devices. Docomo expects to upgrade Shabette Concier with increasingly natural language interfaces for enhanced functionality, as well as to link it to a variety of services powered by Docomo and add additional interesting stuffs. Interestingly enough, there are even anime characters for you to converse with with this app but this upgrade will take place next month as part of this year’s fall update.
Once again, NTT Docomo is the leading Telco company in Japan and its services are Japan only as well so Asian or Western release of this app may be almost impossible for Android devices. Sure, there won’t be bonus content for Asian and Westernized releases of this app such as the anime contents because there’s no way we can talk to those characters in other languages. Simply hiring English voice actors for English version of these contents for this app in English can worsen the reputation as well and that will be unacceptable to the otakus.