Google to launch voice-search app for iPhone

16 Nov 2008

Google is getting ready to launch a voice-based search application for the iconic iPhone, demonstrating the increasingly complex and beautifully intricate, but rewarding, texture of the emerging mobile internet.

According to a report in the New York Times on Friday, the new service is built on top of a voice-based yellow-pages telephony service entitled GOOG-411.

The move is part of a broader strategy by Google to enrich services with advanced voice-recognition capabilities.

The new application, which can be downloaded from iTunes, will allow users to perform complex location-based searches using spoken words.

The application uses data from the iPhone’s accelerometer to determine how close the device is to your ear and puts the device into listening mode.

It then sends voice data to Google servers that use speech-recognition algorithms to turn the voice query into a search query and voilà, the search engine returns the search results as text on the handset screen.

The new application will demonstrate how sophisticated the mobile internet can become, and could possibly drive new advertising revenues Google’s way based on search results.

It is understood the application can also be used to look up contacts on the iPhone’s address book.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years