My boss was forgetful. He ran his own business, getting up at 5 a.m. and often not getting to bed before 11 p.m. Around noon, he would wander up from the back of the shop and just stand there with his hand on his hips, frowning down at the floor. He’d forgotten something; when I’d ask what was wrong, he’d mention something he’d already taken care of, or that had slipped under the radar weeks before. Or he’d be elbow deep in a batch of cookie batter before he remembered he’d forgotten the chocolate chips. A smart man, but he had a lot on his plate. He needed something like MYLE Tap, the smart voice recorder does voice-to-text direct to the relevant app.
MYLE stands for Make Your Life Easier. With the touch of a finger, the “tap” portable device records your voice and figures out how that info is relevant. Without MYLE Tap, you have to touch your phone or find that antiquated pairing — pencil and paper — to record calendar dates, fill in budgets, or write shopping lists.
But if you have MYLE Tap pinned conveniently to your shirt, instead of recording either voice alone, using voice-to-text, or just typing out a note, you only have to tap the device and tell it what you need. It’ll add that appointment to your calendar or that missing ingredient to your shopping list. Tell it what you ate and when MYLE Tap reunites with your phone, it’ll translate that into your chosen calorie counter. Announce when you start exercising, and MYLE starts up its accelerometer to figure out how many calories you’re burning; results will show up in your activity tracker app or MYLE cloud.
Related: SIRI’s got some serious competition
The hardware is simple: an ARM processor, a digital microphone, memory enough for about 2,000 notes of up to 30 seconds, an accelerometer, Bluetooth Low Energy transmitter, two LEDs and a battery that should keep it up and running for seven days (though it shuts off if it doesn’t hear any chatter for three seconds, and notes are saved even if it dies). It charges via a charging dock that’s still in development. It’s also dust and water resistant, so it’s safe to bring it on outdoor excursions.
What makes MYLE Tap really intriguing is the algorithm used to decipher your text. Yes, the button sized clip-on package that is the Tap is handy, and essentially makes this more than an incredibly clever voice-to-text management app, but the algorithm has far reaching implications. MYLE Tap makes Siri and Iris (remember that awful “AI”?) seem so weak by comparison. Those are search engines masquerading as personal assistants, and let’s face it; if they were human you would fire them. Compared to MYLE Tap, they’re forgetful and have limited skill sets. Also, with Siri and Iris you need to talk to your phone, have it nearby, or have an expensive peripheral to talk to. Not MYLE Tap.
MYLE is like a translator and personal assistant that speaks 42 human languages. Nuance voice-to-text handles the voice recognition, but the MYLE app breaks down your verbiage and sends it to the relevant apps you assigned. The big ones listed are Evernote, Facebook, Slack, Twitter, and Wunderlist, but it also works with calorie counters and budget apps. Box, Salesforce, and OneNote are also available. You will have to download the mini-app, or “Mylet,” from the MYLE Market.
With SDK and API set to open in September, there will be opportunities for developers to create apps for MYLE, or modify existing ones. According to Pavel Bondarev Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of MYLE Electronics Corp., it only takes about three days max to make a mylet, so they expect to have a few dozen apps ready to work with MYLE at shipping time. As of now, there are about two dozen mylets up and running for testing. MYLE works with Android and iOS, and the team is hard at work adding Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry, making this even more accessible for the high-productivity (or old-school) crowd.
Even the MYLE app alone is likely better than IRIS, but with Tap, voice-to-text goes where you go, even without the weight of a smartphone. If you find Tap didn’t quite translate what you said, you can listen to your recorded voice to hear what it missed. MYLE Tap is perfect for brilliant, busy and forgetful people. If you misplace the tap, MYLE has a lost and found feature that will make the tap blink and beep when the phone comes within Bluetooth range.
MYLE has already flown over their $50,000 funding goal to $74,000 in the little more than a week since the Indiegogo campaign launched. The funds will go to finalizing the charging dock design, injection mold tooling, putting the finishing touches on the application and cloud platform, the initial costs of materials, and delivery.
While it’s encouraging that software is already in development, it should make backers a little nervous that this isn’t on the market anywhere yet. Not every campaign hosted by Indiegogo makes its way to backers at all, let alone on time. Fingers crossed here; MYLE Tap could make a lot of lives easier, and the algorithm could be another great step toward ease of use with smart tech.
You can still grab a MYLE Tap for $100 ($80 for the device, and $20 for shipping). They’ll retail for $145, if it hits market. And that’s if. After that, MYLE will begin to charge additional cash to increase the number of notes you can process daily, as well as to extend event storage. They expect to deliver to backers in the fourth quarter of 2015.