back to article First 'fully accurate' totally voice-controlled phone unveiled

You’d probably expect a groundbreaking mobile phone to be developed deep inside Nokia’s HQ or in a military bunker. However, a supposedly super-secure handset described as the world’s first truly hands-free mobile has, in fact, been designed on an industrial estate in Hereford, UK. Can't see the video? Download Flash Player …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Should have checked your copy with Lewis first

    Developed in a secure location?

    I think this town is pretty safe as far as the UK goes.

    Stirling (sic) stuff.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vaporware alert

    "...that the company told the BBC is 100 per cent secure"

    Oh what's that? You're 99% of the way to market and just need another £500k? Well, as you're so close...

  3. OzBob

    contextual problems with voice recognition,....

    like when the guy in the automated house at a technology expo exclaimed "b*gger me"!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Oh now, come on!

    Seriously, I know the Reg is just pleased to pass on something pretending it to be news, but this is getting ridiculous. It's a lark, obviously. A "super-secret" factory filled with housewives and soldering irons, developing a state-of-the-art phone? Called the Zumba, which has a website. Called the Zumba Lumpa? Either the Reg is in on this hoax, or they've just proven that they have absolutely no editorial capacity. In which case, I'd like to apply for the job of senior editor please.

  5. Adrian Barnett
    Thumb Down

    Terrible idea

    So now we are going to have to put up with kids all day shouting things like


    Clever technology yes, I just feel it's going to be very, very annoying.

  6. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    "100 per cent secure"

    Instant fail. No such thing.

    And what if you have a cold, or other kind of sore throat, are you completely fucked then?

  7. Pink Duck


    100% voice recognition accuracy?

    100% secure?

    I think not.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    100% secure..............

    Danger Will Robinson........

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    It made me chuckle

    It was a funny report not really aimed at anouncing the phone but a bit of a fishing exercise for VC funding, the beeb fell for it hook line & sinker as a 'good news story' in times of the credit crunchy nut cornflake economic missmanagement meltdown. The phone mockup was a couple of bits of styrofoam, not even a half decent photoshop 3d render!

    Why steve, well perhaps he'll licence the technology!

  10. jai

    voice recognition txt msg?

    what the hell? if you've got the time to speak your voice message into the phone, then why don't you just call them and have a frikken conversation?

    and how smart is the software really? can it tell that someone over the age of 20 is dictating a SMS and so dictate their message word for word, but if the voice is more youthful sounded, will it translate on the fly from "Hi, how are you, what's the latest news?" to "how R U? N E new bants? lolz raaarrrr kthxby" ?

  11. Ash

    Phone 100% Secure

    Website 30%

  12. Dom


    My bet is that this is the first and last we'll hear of this. The Beeb can't show it working because it doesn't.

  13. Steve Copley

    Sniff, sniff, sniff...

    Ahhhhh... The smell of vapourware wafting across Herefordshire!

  14. tony72
    Thumb Down

    Angling for investment, much?

    "The technology is so top secret, I can't even give you a demonstration of how it works."

    Yeah, right. Heard that before. If it works so well, they should be dying to show it in action, as doing so doesn't reveal any technical details about the implementation. This just indicates that it doesn't work as well as their PR would like you to believe.

    "If you lose this phone, it's instantly useless to anyone else [blah blah] totally secure."

    Yeah, right. How? 100% accurate voiceprint identification? I don't think so. If you have to authenticate yourself in some way, then it's not really any more secure than any existing phone that can be password locked. Indeed I'd be more worried about some website that's not under my control getting hacked than I would about someone going to the trouble of trying to decrypt data on my phone's internal storage.

    Plus, this is a British company, and everyone knows we don't do consumer electronics innovation here any more, so this is pretty much guaranteed bullshit.

  15. richard

    oh dear

    the 'inventor' looks like yer typical mobile sales-clown. sorry, another gimmick that we'll never see again. back to the refineries, bbc.

  16. jubtastic1

    I can reveal the secret

    The speech recognition is provided by Umpa Lumpas in Zumba mission control.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I wonder if Psion Computers would be releasing products like this today if they'd survived?

  18. Dazzz


    Bit light on facts that report wasnt it...

  19. Skizz

    Something fishy...

    There's footage of people hand soldering components - considering the size of the device and earpiece I doubt it was made in that factory. Looks like a plastic mock-up to me.

  20. David Heys

    So let's get this right...

    ...that incredibly thin 'earpiece' has enough electronics to hold a speaker, microphone, transmitter/receiver and battery?

    I had to check it wasn't April 1st.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    100% secure

    Anyone who claims 100% security immediately disqualifies themselves from being competent to discuss security.

  22. Tony Barnes


    Have to agree with lots of the comments above, stinks of BS to me!

  23. Doug Southworth
    Dead Vulture


    The only thing missing from that crack job of reporting was the tag line "Call now, and we will instantly double your order!"


  24. Anonymous Coward

    Dead Canary!


    100% secure = impossible

    100% Fully working = erm No

    Did you see the workers? cutting 2mm wire? Dont use that in any mobile phone I've owned! Soldering (dear Yanks the L is not silent!) by hand? not in my mobile they arn't!

    The size of the track on that PCB was about 3 mm across This thing is sooo FAKE!

  25. Em

    Not likely voice recognition

    The device probably analyses the vibrations on the skull or jaw instead of actually analysing the human voice.

    Jawbone uses this technique on their bluetooth headsets to filter background noise.

  26. Lionel Baden


    No wonder they cant demo it because its a bloody mock up LOL

  27. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: 100% secure

    Maybe they've borrowed the widely-reported "super-encryption" from Obarmy's crackberry?

    Rumour has it that the NSA have a roadmap to super-duper-encryption, mega-super-duper-encryption and mega-super-duper-encryption-with-knobs-on.

  28. Robert E A Harvey
    Paris Hilton

    Green technology

    I'm surprised this wasn't sold as 'green' because the earpiece is obviously made of cardboard.

    Paris - she understands a mockery. Perhaps her new best fiend will want one.

  29. Andy ORourke

    More concerned

    that the 1st guy from the company bears more than a passing resemblance to Anton Dubeck from that dancing show the wife watches, what does he know about website security?

    On that subject if they have developed a 100% secure web site technology I would guess they could make more from that than any poxy phone?

  30. Richard

    Prior art?

    Er, Wildfire, anyone? Before it canned by Orange? Apparently there were plans to expand into non-voice areas, such as reading out email and text, but the plug got pulled. It shouldn't have been too difficult to get her to take dictation and send it out as a text or email.

  31. Stoobin
    Thumb Down

    Whats that smell?

    "If you loose this phone it is instantly useless to anyone else" -Thats right mate. It would probably be useless before I loose it. Because its not really a phone is it. Your just waving about a thin bit of plastic. I'd stick with your ejector seats. Good luck for the floatation.

  32. 2FishInATank

    Did anyone else spot.....

    Did anyone else spot the bloke mentioning that the company was going to be floated on the stock exchange?

    When I say the report last night my first thought was 'scam', and I've heard nothing to change my mind as yet!

  33. Pete "oranges" B.

    It'll never catch on...

    ...everyone will want a little triangular one that they can clip to their shirt's left pocket! What's with this in the ear nonsense?

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