June 15, 2011
IVR: Google Adds Voice and Image Search to Desktop Engine
By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor
At a media event in San Francisco on Tuesday, search engine Google (News - Alert) unveiled new enhancements to the search capabilities. Encouraged by the growing mobile voice search traffic, Google added speech recognition and computer vision or Search by Image technology to the desktop search tool.
A Google blog post said that the thirst for knowledge doesn’t stop when you step away from your computer, it continues on your mobile device. In the past two years, mobile search traffic has grown five-fold. Mobile search today is growing at a comparable pace to Google in the early years, according to the blogger.
As per the post on Google blog, the company has invested time and money to improve the quality of voice recognition technology. For instance, wrote the blogger, the Google English Voice Search system recognizes 230 billion words from real queries so that it can accurately recognize the phrases people are likely to say. As this quality has increased, so has mobile usage. In the past year alone, Voice Search traffic has grown six-fold, as per the Google blog post.
Motivated by the success of speech recognition on mobile devices, the search engine giant has added speech recognition to the search on the deasktop for Chrome users. Hence, if one is using Chrome, you will see a little microphone in every Google search box. Simply click the microphone, and you can speak your search, said Google.
In addition, Google is also adding “Search by Image” functionality to the desktop search engine. Consequently, as per the description in the Google blog, the user will see a little camera next to the microphone for the new Search by Image feature. By clicking the camera, the user can upload any picture or plug in an image URL from the web and ask Google to figure out what it is.
According to Google, Search by Image is rolling out globally in 40 languages. Concurrently, the company is also releasing Chrome and Firefox extensions that will enable the user to search any image on the web by right-clicking.
Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny
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