I wish my phone really talked to me on my commute

I commute in the Bay Area most days (I get to work locally from Palo Alto on a lucky Friday!) and in that time I am either discussing work with Ben (we commute together), or we put on am audio book.

I have learned to enjoy this time, as life has fleeting moments to just listen and think. My mind is still bent after finishing Stephen Hawkin’s latest book The Grand Design!

Sometimes, I am not in the mood for music, NPR, or the audio book, and instead would like to catch up on my tech content. I want my content to read to me, and I want to be able to control what is read back via voice control (since I am driving).

My ideal features:

Which content?

. Read off of TechMeme

. Read from my Instapaper

. Read from my Twitter followers (both their content and the most popular content (e.g. prismatic/flipboard)

Fun features

I would love to crowd-source the voices. Let people compete and let me choose!

The ability to remix and splice pieces from different sources together (e.g. pieces of podcasts too [legal hell])

As new content comes in alert me “new TechMeme leaderboard entry, want me to read it?”

And then there is Umano

I was then excited to learn that some ex-Googlers are on the case, and their MVP is available as Umano. It is a limited curated set right now, and doesn’t get to all of the content that I really want, but hey, it is something. I am excited to see how they are able to grow, and if they can make this a platform so folks can crowd source their readings for sites (e.g. and let TechMeme point you to audio content).

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