Google Labs have been toying with Voice Search since May of 2002, but recently it has gotten more notice since the Search Engine public relations wars are heating up and everyone is pulling out their cool tools for this year. Google Voice Search is a simple concept- call a number, ask a question, then click on a Google link to get your results.
Google Voice Search was being beta tested in Google Labs, but according to Craig Silverstein the Director of Technology at Google, “The problem is, how do you get the answers back? Do you have someone reading them off to you like one of those voicemail mazes where it takes so long to speak to someone? A big list works visually, but doesn’t work very well in audio.”
According to a discussion with ZDNet
Silverstein said he believes that within a few years Google could have a voice interface for everything from driving directions to help you finding the aisle for a particular food in your local supermarket.
“That’s something you would never think to ask a search engine. You’re not likely to be using your laptop in a supermarket, but in the future I think search will be far more accessible — you won’t be tied to your desktop, you will be able to do it from your mobile phone or PDA — and you’ll start to see search used in fundamentally different ways. The kinds of things people want information about when they are walking around or sitting in a bar is very different to what they want while they’re at home,” he said.
The potential uses for voice search are endless, settling bar arguments on sports scores and trivia, comparing prices in the super market or shopping center with other published Froogle product prices, making an easy phone call for info instead of having to power up the computer…etc., etc., etc. The main focus however may be Googling for the percentage of users who are not using the Internet.