Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Voice Activated Mobile Search From Promptu

Who scoops these guys up first?

This is the perfect type of application that consumers would pressure carriers to adopt. It is FOR the consumer, but advertisers can benefit too.

From Sys Con Promptu launches voice-activated mobile search

Promptu , formerly known as Agile TV, a leading innovator of voice-activated search and navigation services, announced today that it is bringing its award-winning technology to the mobile marketplace for the first time.

Promptu will enable mobile subscribers to use their voice to search for, discover, and easily purchase content on their handsets simply by asking for it.

Promptu provides mobile subscribers easy access to the vast library of content offered by their wireless carrier whether its music, videos, ringtones, games, wallpapers, or other applications.

Promptu replaces "send keyword to shortcode" with "Find x". Think mobile marketers and carriers will like this. Me thinks so.

See the demo

As their site says "Voice navigation will do for the phone, what the mouse did for the PC"

Once a carrier has deployed Promptu's economical and scalable network-based solution, consumers can use a simple, phone-based application to search for content by title, personality, brand or genre simply by pressing one button and issuing a voice command rather than going through countless clicks and scrolls on their handset.

To search with Promptu, users say a voice command such as "Find Coldplay" or "Find ESPN" into their handset and results are returned within a few seconds.

If they can offer the option to associate a word with a site like "Find Google", along with a query window (for privacy), you could be looking at your first complete mobile search engine.

The only problem I see is matching where you want to go with what words you need to say. That should be easy to resolve.

Another company that I will get more info from at CTIA show.

2 comments:

OTAir.com said...

This is certainly very cool and I can see it being very beneficial for quickly accessing mobile content vs. clicking through menu after menu AND for conducting regular internet searches where one would normally have a lot to type in or is looking for a number of results. If Sprint signed up with them, I can certainly see myself using this service.

However, I don't see it replacing simple text message marketing for a single product, service or company though, "text keyword to short code", as you say for a number of reasons:
1. Can take longer, not less time, first the user will have to call a number, wait for an answer and then speak their query, rather than just type in a single word. A PTT method could shorten the time, but would handset capability and probably carrier participation. Promptu is probably using a more built-in HW and/or SW solution that reduces the time.
2. Increase in QWERTY keyboards, better T9 and related capabilities and increasing familiarization with typing via a keypad (teens have no problems with quickly typing on a non-qwerty phone)
3. Without the carrier integration, would still require a text message coming back with a link to a WAP site.
4. The very low uptake of voice dialing.
5. The extremely low adoption of voice command and dictation on PC’s
6. The almost non-existent voice command of other electronics in the home and in vehicles
7. In public, all others around you will hear your search commands. This may not be an issue on the open street, but in a quite setting or for something personal, this is an issue.

I am by no means a naysayer or trying to be critical. As I said, I would love to use this and would probably use the mobile web more. My point is that there is likely room for both text message marketing and mobile voice search, maybe even side-by-side.

Scott Shaffer said...

According to the company's website .
"Promptu's large-scale, server-centric voice recognition technology allows the mobile user to search and navigate through enormous catalogs of music, video, ringtones, games, and graphics - quickly and accurately - using the operator's existing network infrastructure.

The user's voice commands are digitized and compressed in the phone and transmitted as a very small stream over the data channel to the Promptu CoRE Server™.

The server recognizes the user's commands, and responds to requests for content or applications in less than a second.

Users are not required to read a list of words and phrases into the phone in order to register their voices.

It works the first time a user says "Find Nine Ball" or makes any other request for content."

From the press release.

"Once a carrier has deployed Promptu's economical and scalable network-based solution, consumers can use a simple, phone-based application to search for content by title, personality, brand or genre simply by pressing one button and issuing a voice command rather than going through countless clicks and scrolls on their handset"

I agree on the privacy issue. There will have to be a query window for users to type words.