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4 Techie Solutions for the Hands-Free, on-The-Go User

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Whether they’re driving, cleaning your apartment, or attending to your daily exercise regimen, active folks on the go want technology that allows them to multi-task safely and expeditiously.

Since texting while driving has proven to be so dangerous, a good number of states across the U.S. as well as telecoms such as AT&T and Verizon are calling for a national ban.

Fortunately, some new technology has surfaced to allow for more hands-free uses. Here are four on the market that you might want to consider for yourself or someone on your holiday shopping list.

1. Vlingo Plus

Vlingo, a Cambridge startup, doesn’t market itself as a product for automobile drivers but it certainly allows users to multi-task whether they’re in the office, at home, or on the road. With Vlingo Plus, you simply click buttons while issuing your command: “Text Joe: Can we meet to discuss the quarterly results.”

Or you can Tweet a friend with a salient link to an article you just read, or conduct a simple Web search for “hands-free devices.” Requests are carried out instantly to anyone you currently have on your contact list.

However, with this app, you can’t listen to incoming texts and e-mails. Outgoing texting and e-mail aren’t available for all phones yet, either. But as an easy, send-only service that’s currently available on BlackBerry AppWorld for free, it’s worth testing out before the $19.99 fee kicks back in.

2. Ford Sync

This one’s not for everyone, but if you’re in the market for a new car that comes with some tech-savvy bells and whistles, you might want to consider purchasing a new Ford, equipped with their state-of-the-art “Ford Sync” technology.

Its intuitive syncing functionality uses Bluetooth wireless technology to transfer the controls from your phone to Ford’s onboard computer system. By pressing the appropriate buttons on the steering wheel, you can also make outgoing phone calls and listen to your text messages with an interface to your car radio speakers.

The one downside regarding this technology is that while the computer reads entire incoming text messages, you can only respond using one of 15 generic messages.

3. Drive Assist

The Drive Assist app available on iTunes for $2.99 automatically holds all your incoming calls, e-mails, and text messages while you’re behind the wheel. The app senses whenever your phone is in motion.

All the messages are disabled until you step out of the car and are ready to receive them. Understandably, Drive Assist is being marketed to parents of teenagers who don’t want their children texting or taking phone calls while they’re driving.

Parents can even override the system to let their own calls go through and get updated GPS data pertaining to the whereabouts of their children.

4. ReadItToMe

If you want an Android application that will read out messages, calls, and app notifications for you, just the way you listen to music on the radio, B4Tea.com recommends ReadItToMe.

This app reads out your incoming calls, SMS messages, and other app notifications, and will even convert “txt speak” into normal language. In addition, it supports any language as long as your voice engine has that language installed.

The technology outlined here provides you with some great options. There are dozens, if not hundreds, more you can find online.

In our busy daily lives, it’s often necessary to multi-task to accomplish all our goals. Technology should be a tool for that purpose. However, there’s nothing wrong once that work is completed, with taking time out to smell the roses.

Oh wait; there’s an app for that too!

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