14 June 2006

Google Execs Hint at Voice Recognition Services and Devices

This would be a handy development. It would make Google search available to millions of people who do not have or computers with web connections since Google search could be accessed via cell phone.

Google Execs Hint at Voice Recognition Services and Devices: "Senior Google executives are dropping big hints that the company's future growth will come not just from PCs but from voice recognition services over mobile cellular phones and cars.

For starters, consider this quote on page 153 in the World is Flat from Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

'We do discriminate only to the degree that if you can't use a computer or don't have access to one, you can't use Google, but other than that if you can type you can use Google...there will be no discrimination in accessing knowledge....Let's imagine a group with a Google iPod one day and you tell it to search by voice - that would take care of the people who can't use a computer - and then [Google access] just becomes about the rate at which we can get cheap devices into people's hands.'

Now add in this recent lecture given at Stanford by Google VP Marissa Mayer. When pondering the future of search, she said (around the 38:00 mark):

"I think that voice technology is going to become advanced along in five years where you will be able to talk to search engines...Computers are going to show up in strange and useful places. BMW come September will have computers on board every single one of its cars...imagine driving on a road and saying 'I need to find the nearest fast food restaurant.' There's a lot of interesting things that can happen."

Finally, Google recently filed a patent to put more beef behind a prototype they have had up since the early 2000s.

Expect Google to make a run at making its search services available in places we can't even think about now. There are billions of people, particularly in developing nations, that have cars and cell phones but don't use computers. That's a huge market for Google and these comments certainly make it seem like they are serious about reaching these pockets. So serious, in fact, that they may even launch their own cheap devices to do so.

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