Sprint announced this evening that it will launch a mobile search service that rides on Microsoft’s Live Search for Mobile. This will include location-based and voice-enabled search, which will pull in the Tellme platform Microsoft acquired earlier this year. Some of the high-level features will include:
- On most Web-enabled Sprint phones, automatically finding local businesses near you without manually entering your location.
- Search the open Internet and Sprint’s mobile content catalogue on Sprint’s mobile search box using Live Search.
- On select Sprint phones, use voice and location search capabilities, delivered by Live Search using Tellme technology, to find local Internet listings.
The final point has parallels to the opportunities for multi-modal search functionality in mobile devices, examined in TKG’s recently released mobile forecast. This will also be among the first GPS-enabled voice search product in the U.S. and will take advantage of GPS capability in new Sprint phones. Coming GPS ubiquity will be an important market factor in mobile local search application development and adoption (also examined in the mobile forecast).
This product will build upon a relationship with Sprint and Microsoft, formed last November to build mobile local listing search capability. The new mobile product will apparently be available for no additional charge to current Sprint data subscribers.
We are scheduled to talk to Microsoft later in the week to find out more. We hope to also get our hands on some screen shots and will report back when we do.