Tellme Networks announced today that it will expand its mobile voice platform to allow mobile search application developers to build products that integrate voice and visual search.
In essence this brings together the ease of speaking and of seeing results on a screen. One of the detriments to mobile search is hardware restrictions (small keypad, etc.); being able to speak search queries or business lookups can be easier than typing. But when results are returned, sometimes it’s easier to see them on a mobile screen than it is to hear them particularly if the information can be saved and then used to dial a business or interact in other ways that can still be developed (think mapping and coupons).
Forty million people use Tellme every month, including its voice portal and free (downloadable) beta product Tellme by Mobile. These are based on the VoiceXML 2.0 protocol that makes Internet data available on mobile devices via voice applications. New “multi modal” capabilities should expand the company’s overall user base, by opening the door for new partnerships to be formed and functionality to be built.
This should be a step toward bringing the company’s voice search capabilities together with other mobile applications, as the amorphous and enigmatic mobile local search area continues to experiment with new and interesting ways to appeal to consumers and build ad models.
Voice recognition technology developers TuVox and Viecore were also named today as Tellme partners that will use its platform to develop various voice applications for mobile search. We’ll have the chance to speak to Tellme soon and will find out more about this development and what else it could mean.