Yahoo launches voice-search via mobile

April 3rd, 2008 - 2:55 am ICT by admin  

San Francisco/Las Vegas, April 3 (DPA) Yahoo Wednesday unveiled a powerful new version of its OneSearch technology for mobile phones that allows users to initiate searches faster using voice or text. The new search module is believed to be the first voice-activated search available via cell phone. The company has already signed partnerships with 29 carriers around the world.

It will also make search instantly accessible on the idle screen of many phones and is seen by the company as a key plank of its strategy to make Yahoo the starting point for mobile consumers.

“With Yahoo! OneSearch 2.0, we are fundamentally changing the way consumers use the Internet on their mobile phones,” said Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo!.

Boerries, who confirmed the world-wide partnerships with 29 companies, was speaking at CTIA 2008 - the US cell phone industry’s largest annual trade show.

Yahoo said that its voice-enabled search technology allows consumers to search for anything simply by speaking the search term. The technology learns your voice and accent the more you use it, and is not limited to a specific list of words.

The new search system allows publishers to integrate content into search results in a move that Yahoo says will yield more effective answers. Boerries said this would provide “instant answers to any query, not just web links”.

For example a search for “New York” could yield subway schedules, or a search for local sushi restaurants could bring up available reservations.

The search assist feature includes predictive text completion that takes the pain out of typing search queries on mobile phones.

The new programs are Yahoo’s latest tactic in its battle with Google and others to dominate the mobile web, which is seen as increasingly important as cellular networks increase their speed and mobile handsets increasingly take on some of the functions of PCs.

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