A lot has happened so far this week with directory assistance and voice search providers.
Call Genie yesterday launched a new product suite. This includes three platforms that let DA providers, Yellow Pages publishers, carriers and search engines build branded mobile local search products. These products will utilize the assets gained in Call Genie’s November acquisition of BTS Logic and Phonespots. It also signals another evolutionary step for Call Genie in moving beyond voice-driven category search to more comprehensive mobile local search functionality for the above players. This will be a sizable opportunity, as stated many times here and in TKG’s recent mobile forecast.
V-Enable also launched a downloadable client version of its WAP-based FreeMobile411 for Sprint phones. The WAP-based version was released earlier this month and differentiates itself from other free 411 offerings by offering live human support (see video here). The product includes business and residential search, maps and directions, and category search, in addition to live operator assistance. The client version will allow users to speak queries while holding the talk button and receive visual results — multimodal functionality that will be one of its main selling points.
Speaking of multimodal, Tellme (one of the first and leading providers in voice/visual mobile search) launched a new search app for BlackBerry today at the Web 2.0 conference. The application will carry Tellme’s voice in/visual out functionality and will include business lookups, movies, traffic, weather, maps and driving directions. See the video demo here.
Lastly, The Kelsey Group has learned from knowledgeable sources that Jingle, which runs 1-800-FREE411, is for sale.