Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law last week which legalises the sending of text messages -- which are currently forbidden -- but only if the user has some form of speech-to-text dictation service.
"There's all this brand-new technology coming out that people want to take advantage of and use, and under current law they are unable to do that," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, who said his "Freedom to Communicate" act was aimed at families. The bill was also sponsored by the auto industry.
However, there is confusion about the law as it does not seemingly allow the user to press a button on the handset to enable the speech-to-text function in the first place.
For example, Apple's Siri service appears to be still illegal as it requires at least one keypress on the handset before it will listen for the users speech.
Users are also unable to read any text messages on the screen.
On the web: Mercury News - Assembly Bill 1536
Posted to: www.cellular-news.com/story/55387.php