free html hit counter Google Voice Search | John Battelle's Search Blog

Google Voice Search

By - November 18, 2008

Readers of this site will recall my ongoing insistence that voice will be the new search interface (and honestly, the next interface for much of the web). Earlier this week, a step toward that reality was taken by Google. It’s going over well. From Cnet:



The new voice-activated Google Mobile app for the iPhone is finally here. Whatever the reason for the delay, it was worth the wait. As we wrote last week, the search app knows when you bring the phone to your face to speak into it. It beeps, you talk, and it executes a Google search on what you said.



Previous coverage of voice search on Searchblog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

9 thoughts on “Google Voice Search

  1. Jere says:

    John, when I read about this app – it did remind me of some of your posts from way back around GOOG-411 – http://battellemedia.com/archives/002488.php – how close do you think we are to this now?

    Voice recognition has been around in some form for so long, but has never really amounted to much on the desktop – do you think mobile will make the difference this time?

  2. We are yet to see the best of this technology… Was good to see it rolled out though finally and after playing around with it for a bit it is actually very good.

    Mike
    http://www.wannadevelop.com/

  3. Oyun says:

    Thanks you really perfect one writing.I m always follow you

  4. JT says:

    I disagree that voice recognition will be anything more than a gadget (outside perhaps the car or other specific uses where hands are busy) i can think of a couple of reasons, among them:
    – people dont like to talk to machines, and it can become very frustrating even if the error rate is 1%
    – many office environments, meetings, public areas are not voice-friendly (imagine the person sitting next to you in a plane commanding a laptop like that)
    – accents of all kinds around the world…

    IMHO, this is the perfect example of a nice technology that exists for technology’s sage but answers very few problems.

  5. I’m glad this app works well for you but I have to say, while I find Tell Me to work extremely well, this technology doesn’t seem to be up to snuff here. In my clear, unaccented english…

    I say “boggle”… it hears “ogle”

    I say “what time is it?”… it hears “times it”

    I say “flashlight”… it hears “fleshlight”

    I say “worthy”… it hears “warranty”

    (No, I’m not looking for a worthwhile flashlight, I run http://www.flashlightworthy.com )

    What’s worse than it not working is that it’s undependable. This means you have to scrutinize the results and I’m guessing that the most common use for this is when your eyes are somewhat busy (i..e. driving)

    Here’s hoping the technology improves rapidly and dramatically.

    Peter Steinberg
    http://www.FlashlightWorthyBooks.com
    Recommending books so good, they’ll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)

  6. JG says:

    I think that this is a worthy effort. Nice to see things like this from Google.

    However, in addition to JT’s concern about even a 1% error rate, I also have to note that my experience with voice is that people tend to ask longer queries. They tend to not just bark 2.7 words into the microphone (“pizza.. deep-dish.. savannah”) Rather, they tend to ask more natural language-ish questions. (“I want a pizza restaurant in savanna, where the price isn’t too expensive, maybe a large for under $20, and the style is deep-dish. Oh, and ideally they should serve alcohol, because I’m in the mood for a beer. Coors maybe. Or a microbrew.”)

    But try and enter that 44-word query into Google, and see how far it gets you. Google just isn’t designed to be able to handle such queries, no matter how valid the queries are. Google breaks.

    Voice recognition isn’t enough. The back-end engine needs to be able to do something intelligent with the query itself, even if the query is recognized perfectly, with 0% error rate.

  7. Bobinaj says:

    I disagree that voice recognition will be anything more than a gadget (outside perhaps the car or other specific uses where hands are busy) i can think of a couple of reasons, among them:
    – people dont like to talk to machines, and it can become very frustrating even if the error rate is 1%
    – many office environments, meetings, public areas are not voice-friendly (imagine the person sitting next to you in a plane commanding a laptop like that)
    – accents of all kinds around the world…

  8. JT says:

    Bobinaj why did you copy/paste my comment?

  9. Joel Cure says:

    The Google voice search is really failing on a lot of phones (see: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4972#makechanges) for example. I have a Droid and the function worked fine for about a month and a half. Now it’s completely dead. No solution in sight. I’m hoping this isn’t the best Google can do.