[SIZE=4][B]It's time to talk to your phone again and one reason could be because of photography[/B][/SIZE]

Yesterday I was walking home for lunch and listening to the tennis at Wimbledon via my bluetooth ear-piece wirelessly connected to my Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone. The commentators, without warning, were replace by the dulcit tones of Cortana, the Windows Phone 8.1 intelligent assistant which is much compared with Siri on Apple iPhones and iPads. My daughter had texted me and Cortana wanted to know if I'd like the message read out. "Read it," I replied and the message was duly spoken through my earpiece. "Would you like to reply?" Cortana asked. This time I declined the invitation as I was by then just a few houses from home.

What has this to do with photography? I just wanted to demonstrate that there is considerable power in speech, either recorded or digitally interpreted and synthesised. Quite by coincidence a software company has today launched a new voice photography app for Android devices. It's called SpeakingPhoto and has been available on iOS devices for some time. The gist of it is that it's a photo messaging social media service that combines audio with images, so you can record a spoken message with an image you send to a friend. I haven't used it to but will report back later when I have. For more information see their [URL="http://www.speakingphoto.com"]website[/URL].

At one point I was beginning to wonder if the speech aspect of smartphones was becoming redundant. I, personally, used my phone very little for calls. Instead I could email, text, surf the Net, listen to the radio, watch TV, play games, navigate and, of course, take photos and video. But with smartphones now at last beginning to get really smart thanks to voice-responsive digital assistants like Cortana and Siri, as well as innovations like SpeakingPhoto, I'm sure we'll all be nattering to our smartphones once again.