Yahoo Extends oneSearch with Voice to Asia
Yahoo! today launched Yahoo! oneSearch with voice for English speakers in Singapore and India.
Available for select BlackBerry devices, including the 8800 series, Curve, and Pearl, this English-language product can understand, disambiguate, and learn accents localized for India and Singapore, allowing consumers to search for anything by simply speaking into their mobile devices. The voice-enabled mobile search platform, using speech technologies from vlingo, first launched in the United States in April to make it easier to initiate mobile searches.
Vlingo’s CEO Dave Grannan calls voice a natural input method for mobile search queries, noting that users do not need to change how they speak or memorize a list of commands. They can say what they want, how they want, and vlingo captures the results word for word using a set of technologies called Adaptive Hierarchical Language Models (A-HLMs). A-HLMs provide an open interface unconstrained to particular applications and adapt statistical models based on regional usage, including details of how users sound, how they pronounce words, and what they say into particular applications on their mobile phones.
The new voice-enabled Yahoo! oneSearch can be downloaded from compatible mobile devices. Over the coming months, the product is expected to support additional devices and languages and become available in additional countries, according to Grannan.
"Earlier this year, Yahoo! selected vlingo as a partner to voice-enable its oneSearch mobile search service in the United States, giving BlackBerry users instant and easy access to the mobile Web. We are excited to add regional variants of English for India and Singapore as we initiate our expansion outside the U.S.," Grannan said. "We look forward to supporting Yahoo! oneSearch globally as we add support for new languages throughout this year."
Yahoo! also extended its oneSearch service throughout Asia with the signing of partnerships with five mobile carriers in India, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Additionally, Yahoo! announced localized versions of Yahoo! Go 3.0 for India, Australia and Southeast Asia, including a local language version for Indonesia.
Today’s Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships announcement brings the total number of mobile search deals signed by Yahoo! worldwide in the last 18 months to more than 60. Across the fast-growing Asia Pacific market, Yahoo! has entered into a total of 23 strategic mobile search partnerships with mobile operators.