Google Buys Speech Recognition, Search Patents

Google has bought several patents from SR Tech Group for technologies covering, among other things, a speech interface for search engines and a system and method for modifying and updating a speech recognition program.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Though Google has not laid out its plans for the patented technology it just acquired, the company said publicly that the technology complements the more than 50,000 patents and applications it already holds worldwide.

The Internet search giant's existing technology already allows for voice search on Android and iOS mobile devices and on laptops and desktops running the Google Chrome browser. To activate this speech function, users now have to click on the microphone button in the browser application.

Google has been investing heavily lately in technologies to make its voice search more conversational with natural language interfaces. Conversational Search, as Google calls it, would let people simply ask questions and the search engine would return its answer, both using speech.

SR Tech Group's developments have largely centered around gesture, touch, speech, and other user interfaces for computer technologies.. It has been working heavily with Voice Tech Group to commercialize developed speech recognition, gesture, and game play computing technologies for the PC.

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