Souljah Boy to TellMe: Search, Listen and Obey


Machine translation from voice to text promises to be the grail of local mobile search. Michael Fitzgerald in The New York Times today highlights voice search and voice recognition software in gadgets that "Listen and Obey."

For example, with the new Vlingo app (Microsoft TellMe competitor), searchers can speak into their mobile phones send SMS messages to find and download Souljah Boy Tellem songs. Instead of texting a friend to decide on a sushi restaurant, Vlingo Find (integrated with Yahoo Maps) lets you talk it over and pinpoint the restaurant of choice.

Listen and obey? That's optimistic. Voice recognition still can't guess users intentions easily. Om Malik discussed Vlingo way back in August 2007, but we're glad the Times is highlighting innovations in mobile search and local search.

Plus, voice search won't achieve ubiquity until it's faster to talk than type.

About the author

Kevin Heisler, formerly the executive editor of Search Engine Watch, is a search and advertising industry veteran. His former roles include VP, strategic accounts for integrated digital marketing firm 360i; director of business development for Didit Search Marketing; and search industry analyst at Jupiter Research.

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