Ask.com introduces voice-activated capabilities to mobile search service

Ask.com has just added voice-activated capabilities to its Ask.com Mobile Directions service. Called "Click to Speak," the new feature lets people speak their location and desired destination to receive directions on their web-enabled mobile devices.

Users of the Directions service on Ask.com Mobile will now see a new "Click to Speak" option. After clicking it, they will be prompted to speak where they are and where they want to go, either by specific address or closest intersection. Then, they'll receive a text message with a link to directions that can be viewed in either a traditional list or a turn-by-turn step format, with an additional option to switch between "Driving" or "Walking" routes.

Click to Speak builds on other features of Ask.com Mobile.

For example, the Ask.com Mobile home page offers links to key mobile categories, minimizing thumb strokes and making it easier to navigate to relevant results.

Its Smart Answers feature provides shortcuts to answers and tools at the top of the search results page and Zoom Related Search provides conceptually-related suggestions to narrow or expand queries.

In addition, Ask.com Mobile works on any mobile web browser so users don't have to worry about which carrier they are signed up with or which mobile device they have.

Finally, Ask.com Mobile doesn't require a download to get started, yet still offers features like street and aerial map views.

However, voice input still doesn't handle wit, irony or humor very well. So, don't try testing the new 'Click to Speak' service by asking it to "open the pod bay doors."