Google held a media event in San Francisco today to discuss their latest innovations in the field of search. The company originally launched many of the features coming to desktop for mobile use. These include Voice Search and Google Goggles.
The first of the announcements is Voice Search on the desktop. According to Google:
One of the technologies driving this growth is speech recognition. With Google Voice Search, you don’t have to type on a tiny touchscreen. You can just speak your query and the answer is on the way. […] We first offered speech recognition on mobile search, but you should have that power no matter where you are.
Google is already in the process of rolling out Voice Search on google.com. In the search box, a small microphone icon will appear on the far right. Click it to activate Voice Search and begin speaking.
The company is also launching a similar feature on the desktop appropriately named Search by Image. It takes many cues the popular Google Goggles search on smart phones. But do not get confused with Image Search, in which you type in text to search for an image. Search by Image will allow users to upload a photo saved on their computer or drag and drop from the web and get results based on the content of that image. The icon to activate this will appear right next to the microphone icon for voice input.
In my opinion, the star of the show today was Instant Pages. Building upon Google Instant search, Instant Pages will load a page from the results in zero seconds — instantly. Google does this by pre-rendering the most relevant results, and therefore the results the user is most likely to click on. Instant Search plus Instant Pages combined saves quite a bit of time when performing a search compared to other sites like Yahoo! and Bing. Instant Pages is only available in the developer release of Google Chrome right now, but will eventually make its way to the beta and finally stable releases.
The fact that Instant Pages is a Chrome-only feature for a while gives competitors plenty of time to catch up with Google’s new additions to search. Bing tends to advertise its ability to pull relevant results and reduce clutter while Google often boasts about unparalleled speed. In terms of market share, Google is the clear winner, but both have more than adequate offerings.
Links: Google Inside Search