Yahoo! announced today at CTIA that it will integrate voice search capability into its OneSearch mobile search application. The new “OneSearch 2.0” will be powered by Vlingo, a speech recognition technology company that also received a $20 million B round today (led by Yahoo!). This all comes the day after human-powered search engine ChaCha did the same thing with its mobile product.
The increased mobile search adoption expected from the buzz and usability standards of the iPhone is beginning to lead to a land grab of product development to convert early users. Many of the announcements coming out of CTIA this week are testament to this.
Yahoo!, like everyone else, clearly sees mobile as an opportunity and a “greenfield” for search growth and, eventually, ad support. OneSearch should get some good traction, since Yahoo! has formed carrier and manufacturer partnerships that give it access to 600 million mobile users. Through this, voice search will get the bump in exposure that was forecast in TKG’s recent Mobile Market View report. Other sources of this exposure include Goog411 and Microsoft’s Tellme.
OneSearch currently is only available on BlackBerrys, but Yahoo!’s goal is to plant it on the home screens of devices that run on its 29 carrier partners’ networks.
Google meanwhile has a different approach to the mobile world. Through Android and its Open Handset Alliance, it is sidestepping the need to partner with carriers to get its search apps on the carrier deck. Instead they’ll be built into, or closely tied to, mobile operating systems on devices that support Android and its open source applications.
Either way, there is clearly a great deal of development happening in mobile, and local search will be a clear beneficiary of this innovation. It’s almost become a cliche by now … but the mobile world is where the Internet was 10 years ago. There is an exciting ride to come (hopefully without sock puppets).
Graphic Courtesy of GigaOm