Report: ChaCha Voice Search Beats Google, Yahoo/Vlingo In Accuracy, Reliability

A new report finds that mobile search and answers service ChaCha beat Google and Yahoo's voice search tools in terms of overall accuracy and reliability across a range of query types in a controlled study. The study was conducted by Albright Communications/MSearchGroove in January of this year. The report, which can be downloaded from the ChaCha site, was sponsored by ChaCha but the authors said, "While ChaCha sponsored the study, it was fully removed from the planning, testing, analysis, and reporting of this work." The methodology was very specific and relatively elaborate. I summarize it [...]

Voice Search Now On Google Maps For Android

Android OS phone users can now use Google's voice search tool inside of Google Maps. According to today's announcement, the tool recognizes English-language speakers with American, Australian, and British accents. There are other improvements, too: Transit and walking directions are available for more than 250 cities Business listings have been upgraded to include store hours, prices, and ratings/reviews Google Latitude had a location detection bug that's been fixed A new "Updates" feature in Google Latitude makes it easier to communicate with friends This update isn't an autom [...]

Yahoo Adds Voice Search To iPhone App

MobileCrunch noticed Yahoo has added voice search capabilities to their Yahoo One Search iPhone App. I spent a few minutes testing it out and I have to say, that is does an okay job. I didn't conduct enough tests to really compare it against Google's iPhone voice search feature. They are both different in how they work. First let me show you Yahoo's voice search for a test on [who is barry schwartz]: Step 1: Click on the "Press + Speak" button to activate voice search: Step 2: Speak when button turns red and then tap it again when you are done talking: Step 3: The button [...]

Google Voice Search & My Location Now On Blackberry

Google has announced the addition of voice search and My Location on the Google Mobile App for Blackberry. The new Blackberry additions are features that have been available on the Google Mobile App for iPhone since November. The My Location feature lets you search without needing to input a city name or some other geographic modifier. Voice search is what it sounds like -- a way to search by speaking your query. Google had offered voice search as a separate download for its Google Maps Blackberry app last summer. They launched the Google Mobile App for Blackberry this past September. [...]

Video: Google Mobile iPhone App With Voice Recognition Now Available

The Google Mobile Blog announced that the Google Mobile iPhone App, now with voice search, is finally live as an update in the iTunes App store. So I downloaded this morning and decided to offer you a video demonstration of how it works. Before showing you that, let me link you to some of the coverage we have seen so far. Matt Cutts of Google has not only one, but two useful posts demonstrating the features. Waxy shows the behind the scenes on how it works. Plus you can see more coverage at Techmeme. Without further ado, here is my video, demonstrating how it runs on my iPhone. Hope [...]

Eagerly Awaiting Google’s Voice Search For The iPhone

Yesterday, arguably the top tech story of the day was Google's introduction of voice search for its iPhone app. As of this morning, the updated app still isn't available in the iTunes store (that's not Google's fault). I spoke yesterday afternoon with Google's Mike Cohen and Gummi Hafsteinsson about the app and how it would work. What they described was something that sounded qualitatively different in terms of accuracy and usability vs. competitive offerings now in the market. Unfortunately, no one has had an opportunity to try the updated app yet. But, if it works as promised, it should [...]

Google Brings Voice Search To The iPhone

The New York Times reports in Friday's newspaper that Google's iPhone app will be updated with voice search capability. The move should come as no surprise: The launch of Goog411 in 2007 brought immediate speculation that mobile voice search was on the way, and Google tells the Times that data collection from the Goog411 project helped create this new iPhone service. With the new Google iPhone app, you'll be able to speak your search query into the phone rather than having to type it out. The Times article explains what happens after you ask your question: "The sound is converted to a digi [...]

Google Enables Political Video Search With Speech Recognition, Showcases 3D Technology

Google is introducing an Elections Search Gadget that allows users to search transcripts of political speeches and videos that appear on YouTube candidate channels. The speech recognition technology (also shared with Goog411) produces a transcript of the videos, which can then searched by users of the Gadget to find precise phrases or keywords in speeches or candidate statements on particular issues. Google is doing this to test out the speech-to-text capability, which it will probably expand more broadly to YouTube videos as a whole and to Google video once the technology is improved and h [...]

Google Brings Voice Search To Maps On Blackberry Mobile Phones

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 i [...]

GOOG-411 Is Out Of Beta

The Google Blog announced that GOOG-411, Google's voice enabled search service, is now out of beta. To use GOOG-411 just dial 1-800-466-4411 (aka 800-GOOG-411) and listen to the voice prompts. As part of a promotion for GOOG-411 leaving beta, Google said they will unveil which Googler is the voice behind GOOG-411. Here is the video that announces GOOG-411's graduation from Google Labs: Google launched GOOG-411 back on April 6, 2007. And Greg Sterling had a nice post named Goog411 Voice Search and Speech Recognition. You can read our archives for more on Google Voice Search, plus checko [...]

Billboard Showdown: Google 411 Takes On Ask’s Algorithm

I'm in the Bay Area this week, and driving down Lombard Street, I brought the car to a halt when I saw the two billboards above. Yes, that's one of the Goog411 billboards for Google Voice Search sitting on top of an "The Algorithm" one. Sadly, there's doesn't seem to be room to squeeze in ones from Yahoo and Microsoft. Want to see them for yourself? Go down Lombard, just up from Gough. I've got another shot here, as well. [...]

Deconstructing Google’s Billboard Experiment

Last week's coverage of Google's Goog-411 billboard in Olean brought forth a number of other sightings of the billboards in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, Ca. & Tonawanda , Buffalo and Limestone (even smaller than Olean) NY. While there may be others yet to appear and more billboards coming from Google, the very specific geographic clustering of the billboards in Western New York and the greater San Francisco area speak against Valleywag's speculation that the boards were surplus from a Google experiment in brokering billboards. While Google may very well be interested in the bil [...]

Google Uses Outdoor Billboards To Promote Goog411

Photo by Mike Blumenthal. Used with permission. Mike Blumenthal took a picture of a billboard ad in upstate New York for Google's free directory assistance alternative, Goog411. This is interesting and amusing for a number of reasons. The company, which has historically not marketed its products (although that is changing), is using a very traditional ad medium to promote its non-traditional local voice search offering. However, people will see this when they're driving in their cars, which is one of the expected use cases. Another interesting thing is the location, a relatively obscure r [...]

Google’s Research Director Peter Norvig On ‘The Future Of Search’

MIT's Technology Review published an interview with Google Director of Research Peter Norvig that explores his (and presumably Google's) thinking about problems in search and "next-generation" search functionality that Google is working on. There's nothing strikingly new in the interview but it's an interesting overview and window into some of the current projects. Among them, Norvig emphasizes speech recognition and processing, both in mobile (i.e., Goog411) and hypothetically on the desktop. He also discusses getting users to provide more information ("natural language") or interact more w [...]

Google Voice Search Adds ‘Map It’ Feature

Google's free directory assistance/voice search offering 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) has added a "map it" feature. Users can say "map it" after receiving the desired listing and get a text message with a link to a map (which opens a WAP browser). I tested the feature a couple of times , and it worked very easily. Google draws upon its Google Maps database to serve text-to-speech listings -- and now maps -- to Goog411 callers. Google's competitors include Jingle Networks' 1-800-Free411, AT&T's 1-800-YellowPages and several others. Jingle Networks was recently awarded a patent for contextu [...]

Goog411 Raising Profile, Seeking Feedback

The Google Lat Long Blog promotes Google's free voice-based local search (free directory assistance) product: Goog411. The post also cites a new, related Google Group, similar to the Yahoo Suggestions Board, and a related, suggestions email address. Here's our original post on Goog411 from launch earlier this year. Google was very cautious and tentative about the positioning of the service when it launched. This suggests to me that it is getting positive feedback and seeing usage gains. [...]

Goog411 Voice Search And Speech Recognition

Tim O'Reilly has an interesting post that went up last Friday on Google's potential motivation in rolling out Goog411. The obvious answer to the question "Why is Google doing this?" is mobile voice search and directory assistance ($13 billion in annual revenue per Opus Research). The conventional wisdom, which includes me here, holds that Google wants to offer a mobile search product that taps into existing consumer behavior (i.e., directory assistance) and offers the prospect of advertising -- eventually. Currently 1-800-Free411 is the leader in the ad-supported free directory assistance ma [...]

Google Voice Local Search Launched

You've heard the rumors. Now you can try the experimental service from Google Labs. Google Voice Local Search is now live and publicly claimed by Google. Greg Sterling will be along to say more either here or in a fresh post. In the meantime, you can call (1-800-GOOG-411) and get local information by talking to your phone, at least in the United States. Microsoft, of course, also has local voice search through the TellMe service it acquired last month. Postscript from Greg: Google's experimental entry into automated voice-based mobile search (free directory assistance [DA]) establishe [...]

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