Google IPhone Voice (over); Google Is Taking Questions (Spoken, via iPhone)

That’s going to be interesting … I mean …. this …. Google Is Taking Questions (Spoken, via iPhone); whatever you want to say about Google … they keep innovating Search – they just pushing the boundaries.  The other day they released data showing how Google Uses Searches to Track Flu’s Spread and just yesterday Google Exploring Old Rome Without Air (or Time) Travel.

I haven’t seen the iPhone application yet, it’s going to be available today.   It’s hard to say how much I’ll use it – but the fact they pulled something like Google Is Taking Questions on the iPhone is fantastic – beyond the scope of what anyone else could do.   Even the Google Earth for iPhone application is a stunning interface.   From The New York Times:

Users of the free application, which Apple is expected to make available as soon as Friday through its iTunes store, can place the phone to their ear and ask virtually any question, like “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or “How tall is Mount Everest?” The sound is converted to a digital file and sent to Google’s servers, which try to determine the words spoken and pass them along to the Google search engine.

The search results, which may be displayed in just seconds on a fast wireless network, will at times include local information, taking advantage of iPhone features that let it determine its location.

The ability to recognize just about any phrase from any person has long been the supreme goal of artificial intelligence researchers looking for ways to make man-machine interactions more natural. Systems that can do this have recently started making their way into commercial products.

And there’s been other innovations that I haven’t checked out yet, not so much from Google, but what Microsoft is doing where Microsoft Beats Yahoo and Google to Social Inbox 2.0

Thursday, Microsoft announced a complex new version of the Web sites and PC software that use the Windows Live brand. Over the next two months, the company will introduce dozens of upgraded features involving its e-mail, instant message, calendar, blogging and other services. It will also add some entirely new functions, including group collaboration and photo sharing.

A lot of the effort has gone into weaving the functions of social networks throughout many of these services. For example, the service has a “what’s new” feed, modeled after the Facebook news feed, that can publish short comments by users as well as links to when they take certain actions, like publish new photos. The feed will be displayed on the instant message client and on new profile pages for users. And after you send an e-mail to people who use the new feed, you will see their most recent updates.

Microsoft is also reaching out to draw in information from other sites.

I guess, what I’m saying is that Search is getting interesting again – no so much for the act of searching – but how one can search and also receive information – a lot of innovation happening – it’s almost like that innovation is coming in waves.

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