The Google Mobile blog today announced that the company will bring voice search capability to mobile mapping queries. This will utilize the Goog411 voice search technology, and will be available initially on BlackBerry Pearl models (8110, 8120 & 8130). It will also play off the MyLocation feature launched in November.
According to the Google Mobile Blog:
- Press “0” to center the map view around your location
- Press the left-side key and hold it while you say the name or type of business you’re looking for (for example, “pizza”)
- When you’re done speaking, release the left-side key, and our voice recognition technology will figure out your request and find the business you’ve been looking for, no typing needed.
Multimodal is gaining steam elsewhere in the mobile search world, as voice search and DA providers such as Tellme and V-Enable have been working fast to launch products that allow both voice and data input. Yahoo! also integrated voice search into its OneSearch mobile platform back in April, and ChaCha launched a voice search product around the same time.
There are lots of advantages to multimodal as the voice search process is intuitive, and is close to the familiar use case of directory assistance. Voice search technologies also improve as more people use them. Or as Google sells it:
Using your voice to search for businesses is super useful in situations when you can’t type, when the name of the business is long, or when you’re not sure how to spell it. In other situations — when you’re in a library or a rock concert, for example — typing makes more sense. Keeping that in mind, we designed this feature to allow you to choose whether to speak or type.