Vlingo today announced “Vlingo InCar,” a new beta feature for Android users that allows consumers to receive and send text messages without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

Vlingo InCar offers users:

  • Voice-driven, hands free initiation – Vlingo enters listening mode upon Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Voice driven, hands free initiation using a “wake up word”
  • Conversational user guidance instead of a touch screen
  • Ability to send and respond to messages, make calls and get directions using only voice commands

“Vlingo InCar was a natural extension of Vlingo’s functionality so that users can now have an alternative, hands free way to communicate when they need to respond to an urgent message,” said Dave Grannan, president and CEO at Vlingo. “Although 30 states presently have full or partial bans on texting while driving (TWD), data from Vlingo’s Texting While Driving in America 2010 Report shows that 35% of those surveyed still continue to TWD. Legislative action is an important step but clearly laws are not enough, we are going to need technology solutions.”

“Sprint firmly believes in helping wireless consumers combat texting while driving with engaging educational tools and innovative products that assist them in drastically changing this dangerous behavior,” said Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president for corporate social responsibility. “With Vlingo’s hands-free application on the Android Market, drivers are able to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, and Sprint is pleased to support Vlingo InCar as an application for its wireless customers. ”

This latest release of Vlingo also includes a new feature called “Vlingo Answers” that enables users to speak into their device to ask a question, in any form, and have the answer read to them, out loud, immediately.

In addition to InCar, Vlingo can power most tasks on Android devices. Users can simply press the “Vlingo widget” to:

  • Send text and email messages
  • Search the web using Google or Yahoo!
  • Update Facebook and Twitter status
  • Open built-in and 3rd party applications
  • Speak into any application with the Vlingo Everywhere voice keyboard
  • SafeReader – hear incoming text & email messages while you drive
  • SuperDialer – one-click calling to an infinite address book, and reviews, maps and directions for any business.
  • Foursquare – check in, connect with friends, or shout out an update on foursquare.

Availability, Compatibility and Price

Vlingo is available free of charge for Android 2.1, and above.

Note Vlingo InCar beta is exclusively available on the Sprint Now Network and is optimized for the HTC Evo and other Android 2.2 devices.

To see when Vlingo InCar will be available for your U.S. carrier wireless carrier, click here. U.S. users can download Vlingo on device from the Android Market for free.

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Vlingo plans to roll out this functionality to other Vlingo supported platforms in a future release.