Today Google announced a download that enables voice search for Google Maps on Blackberry devices. This is very much like the existing Windows Live Search for Mobile service with voice or Tellme for Blackberry devices (also Microsoft). Yahoo also recently integrated Vlingo’s speech technology into oneSearch.
It’s reportedly built on the same speech recognition engine as Goog411. Right now it’s only available for Blackberry devices as part of a Google Maps download. I’m sure it will be expanded for all phones that can run the Google Maps application.
Speech recognition and voice search are imperfect but generally pretty good at this point and rapidly improving. Voice integration is significant because it improves usability and increases the usage and search frequency of these applications.
The average Google mobile search user conducts nine searches per month according to Nielsen:
* Google: 9 searches per month * Yahoo! 6.7 searches per month
By contrast, “mobile answers” engine ChaCha, which uses a voice-in text-out approach, has said its users conduct as many as 40 queries per month. That difference is largely about usability and voice as an input, as opposed to a keypad or virtual keyboard.