There has been much blathering in the mainstream media over the past couple of days regarding “iLane”, the shiny new service that lets you hear your email read to you in a “natural human voice” while you are driving. All you need is a bluetooth-enabled handheld or portable device and a subscription to the iLane service, and suddenly you are navigating your email with “easy to use” voice commands and staying in touch with the office or loved ones in a completely hands-free and eyes-on-the-road environment.

What the talking heads and typists in the mainstream media have completely failed to mention, however, is that the service runs under a “scanning and summarizing” system, which means your emails are first read by the iLane service, and then translated into an audio summary. The mopes at iLane aren’t overly forthcoming as to whether the “pre-read” is done by a human or a machine, but the choice between the two options doesn’t seem like much of a choice at all.

Thumbs down for this one.

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