Google is the king of a great many mountains, with search being just the most obvious. Another area where Google thrives is its triumphant ownership of April Fools’ Day. While many other technology companies try their hand at pranks, Google’s tend to be more clever, elaborate, and numerous than competitors can manage. This year nearly all of Google’s products had their own April 1st stunt, including the Google Voice “Voice-alyzer.”
The feature is similar to “Google Goggles” for Gmail, which prompts users to solve simple math problems before continuing with email, ensuring that they’re in a fit state to be communicating. Following on this same path, the Voice-alyzer forces users to type in everyday words (such as “Czechoslovakia”) before they make a call. If you get the words wrong, rather than completing the call, Google will send you the information for three local cab companies.
Further, anyone who tries to send a text may be spared from the consequences of their altered state thanks to a feature that moves any message with fumbled typing or excessive punctuation (more than one question mark at the end of a sentence, for example) to the outbox – allowing users to review and send the message, or not, when they’re a bit more sober.
The mythological extra can be enabled or disabled by users, and the exact time the extra confirmation steps are required can also be customized (for example, after 2am). The major question I have is, “Why isn’t this a real product?” It seems that preventing drunk dials through Google Voice would be doing everyone – callers and recipients – a major favor.
[via the Google Voice Blog]