ReQall launches mobile memo service

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The humble paper memo may soon be a thing of the past if a new digital memo service takes off. The device, invented by a team of ex-Apple executives, has just been launched in the UK.

ReQall is the latest in a series of high-tech products aimed at improving people's memories by recording events, conversations and, in this case, reminders online. All users have to do is dial a free telephone number to record short reminders, whether they are calendar entries, telephone numbers of new contacts or off-the-cuff ideas. ReQall then converts the message into a text, email or web message that is sent to the user.

Rao Machiraju, co-founder and chief executive of QTech which invented reQall, said that while many people will be happy to continue writing notes to themselves or manually typing memos into PDAs or laptops, the convenience of the new service will appeal to customers. "This is like a digital Post-it note. While people can use Blackberries to log reminders, we are now at a point where we count the number of clicks to do something. This service makes it very simple and convenient."

Mr Machiraju, who was Apple's chief scientist for 10 years, said the service will appeal to people who are highly mobile and travel between different time zones but also to creative people who want to record ideas they have while on the move or driving.

He expects reQall to have one million users around the world by the end of next year, including between 250,000 and half a million in the UK.

The service, which has already been embedded into Apple's iPhone, will be free to use, although the company will look to launch a premium service at a later date that will allow for higher volumes of speech-to-text conversion. Mr Machiraju said the company is also in talks with carriers about revenue-sharing and could look to work with other partners, such as advertisers, to grow the business.