Google Labs Has Potential Diamond in the Rough with Mobile Voice Search

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous. New from Google Labs is a way to essentially type without taking your eyes off the road. Expected to roll out later today, this app, originally for the iPhone could eventually expand to other phones or mobile devices.This is not Google’s first crack at voice recognition software and appears to be a more refined version of Google 411 (GOOG-411). However, instead of providing only local results for specific businesses in your area, you can use the voice recognition software to search for everything from sports scores to the gallons of water that flow over Niagara Falls every day.

How It Works

The software will translate your voice into a data file which is then sent to the Google servers. Depending on the strength of your signal, your search result can be returned in a matter of seconds. For anyone who has ever sent a text message or performed a search on your mobile phone, you can understand the laborious process of typing on the small keys, pushing the wrong button, backspacing, etc. Although not perfect, Google’s new voice search will significantly reduce the time needed to perform a search while providing a safer medium for obtaining results while behind the wheel.

I have experimented with other voice recognition apps such as Jott which often take minutes to translate a block of text. Google’s claim that this can be done in seconds is something that I am intrigued by, and if they can actually pull it off, they would set themselves apart as the leader in the voice recognition industry. This service is expected to be free which can make you question what benefit it has to Google. I will tell you what it means. Google will now have a near monopoly on mobile search once this application expands to other phones and devices giving them a significant advantage at the onset of data collection for a new demographic of searchers.

This could be almost uncharted territory for Google, who started as a competitor to other search engines when it first began. Google now has first crack at this new market, and if they display any of the dominance with mobile search that they have with regular search, it will be very difficult to compete. As for the impact it might have on search engine optimization, users will be more likely to use longer tailed, more descriptive phrases now that they don’t have to type the whole thing out on their keyboards. I would look for a slight shift towards increased use of longer tail searches in mobile search, a market until now dominated by 1 or 2 keyword phrases.

Once I download the app, I will let you know how it works out!