Held in Las Vegas, CTIA 2009 is a showroom filled with wireless products for consumers. One of the newest trends at this year’s conference is the universal mobile communications in-box, which combines features such as visual voicemail, text messages, e-mail, calling, and call forwarding in one online deck — for a fee.
Visual voicemail is an excellent alternative for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, as are text messaging and regular e-mail. Being able to manage all communications in a visual fashion is a great option for deaf professionals. Here are a few products that offer visual voicemail:
Skydeck has a traditional e-mail layout that does calls, voicemail, text, visual voicemail, and call control for a fee. You can read your inbound messages in addition to listening to them. A search bar at the top of the page helps you quickly find phrases and messages–including content from those transcribed voicemails.
YouMail is a visual voicemail Web service and mobile management app that emphasizes social interaction and customization, like personalized greetings in addition to technical offerings like voice-to-text transcriptions. It’s available for download on BlackBerry phones and potentially soon on Apple’s iPhone.
And according to CNET, RocketVox manages e-mail from multiple accounts (including Gmail), IM, SMS, voice-to-text, VoIP calling, visual voicemail, faxing, conference calls, calendars, and screen-sharing. RocketVox is currently an Adobe AIR application that will graduate to a Web service later down the road. CNET likes RocketVox’s “gorgeous interface, broad appeal, and stacks of features.” It comes with three pricing plans for casual users up to business professionals.
It’s got a few different features than the forthcoming Google Voice, though with both currently in private beta, RocketVox could soon face tough competition before it really catches on. However, with its strong feature set and deep integration with VoIP and visual voice mail services, RocketVox is one service we hope will stick around.
However, Google is coming out with a free application called Google Voice — and it’s free. Google Voice’s features will include a universal number, visual voicemail, and advanced calling features.