Business & Finance
04:05 PM
Connect Directly

Google Wins Patent For Voice Search

The patent covers voice interfaces for search engines, which could be a boon for cell phone users.

We're likely to see more people shouting into their cell phones while walking down the street now that Google has won a patent for a voice interface for search engines.

Then again, maybe not: "Prospective product announcements should not be inferred from our patent applications," says a Google spokesman.

Still, the 5-year-old patent application confirms the company's commitment to extend its reach beyond the desktop to mobile devices, something seen in Google's recent series of mobile-oriented moves, such as its launch of mobile phone search advertisements in Japan.

Google states in its patent filing that "there exists a need for a voice interface that is effective for search engines." If so, then Google, having developed such an interface, might just bring it to market. Google also believes it can use its stored text and audio queries to improve speech recognition and relevance, which would boost the usefulness of any speech-based search service the company offers. "Speech as a mode for doing searches is getting more reliable," says Dan Miller, an analyst with Opus Research.

Others have the same idea. Both Google and Yahoo have a large number of people working on speech-related issues, and both companies have engaged in aggressive recruiting. What's the appeal? There are hundreds of millions of cell phone users, and delivering targeted, localized ads to them could be a big and profitable business.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July10, 2014
When selecting servers to support analytics, consider data center capacity, storage, and computational intensity.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.