Yahoo! launches voice search on smartphones


21 May 2009

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Smartphone devices such as the iPhone, the BlackBerry Storm and Windows Mobile devices will now be enabled to allow users search for web addresses, restaurants and flight numbers using their voice, thanks to a new application unveiled by Yahoo!

With the voice-enabled Yahoo! oneSearch, consumers can search for anything, including flight numbers, locations, website names, local restaurants, and more, simply by speaking.

In addition to using voice to conduct a search, the Yahoo! Mobile iPhone app enables consumers to customise the ‘My Interests’ tab with the power of their voice. All that is required is for the user to click on ‘add anything’, speak the topic they are interested in, then select the relevant content and add it to their page.

The Yahoo! oneSearch with voice application is currently available on more than 80 different devices and across platforms including BlackBerry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and iPhone, and offers support in eight languages.

Whereas most mobile voice recognition systems are specific to vertical categories, such as local listings, Yahoo! oneSearch with Voice lets consumers perform ‘wide open’ searches – returning relevant results for practically every kind of query.

The Yahoo! Mobile iPhone app can be downloaded through the iPhone app store. Compatible devices on other platforms can download the app by visiting http://m.yahoo.com/voice on their mobile browser.

In addition, Yahoo! has also rolled out the Yahoo! oneSearch shortcut for Windows Mobile in 21 countries, providing mobile users with one-click access to the search box.

And Yahoo! has added an auto-locate feature on select devices to deliver local search results based on a combination of cell tower triangulation, GPS and Wi-Fi hotspots.

The oneSearch shortcut can be downloaded on compatible devices by visiting http://m.yahoo.com/shortcut.

By John Kennedy

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