Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google's US 7,027,987, a voice interface for search engines

In commenting on the publication of the patent, Google did point to the reality of the uncertainty in commercializing any given invention: "We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees may come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don't. Prospective product announcements should not be inferred from our patent applications."

Google has has a demo of voice-activated searches: Searchers call a Google supplied number, where a prompt asks them to "Say Your Search Words." After a minute, the results are returned and, in the demo, the searcher clicks a link that leads to them. In a real-world application, the results would presumably be sent to a mobile phone screen or in-car system. The obvious eventual application is for mobile phones. Mobile web services are on the rise, and mobile phone keyboards could make typing in keywords a nuisance.

One notes that since keyboards generally are a nuisance, voice commands for many input functions would be desirable.


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