The Daily App: Robin For Android


The Daily App, Robin


You've heard of Batman and Robin. Now there's Android and Robin, a dynamic duo providing a way for drivers to use voice commands rather than their hands.

Developed by Palo Alto-based Magnifis, a speech interface provider, Robin for Android is a free travel app that provides hands-free driving assistance. Robin can give turn-by-turn GPS navigation and traffic reports, show speed traps, find the nearest and cheapest parking, and can answer a multitude of questions. Its developer claims that Robin has intelligence similar to that of Siri, although it does not provide services such as setting alarms or performing Web searches. However, Robin can assist in making driving as hands-free as possible by using voice commands to make phone calls, find gas stations and read Yelp reviews, and can also read Twitter feeds.

Using Robin is easy. Robin is activated by quickly waving a hand, as if saying hello to the phone’s camera. It launches with a simple beep and is ready to provide driving assistance. Robin addresses its user by name and continuously learns their preferences.

Currently in beta, Magnifis believes that Robin will ultimately compete head-to-head with Apple's Siri, but for now it is helping to keep driver’s hands off their phones and on the wheel.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 6, 2012