41 thoughts on “Google launches 800GOOG411”

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  2. Most likely Google is using Nuance Speech Technologies.

    look for Google to expand to other Speech based offerings in the future.

  3. Google is going with the best speech recognition technology in the world !


  4. Joshua

    thanks for your comments. I am not sure what technology they are using but I am trying to find out. As soon as I find out those details, I will post an update!

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  6. It will be interesting to see how Google’s new free-411 service competes against AT&T’s 1-800-YellowPages. Two giants going against each other. Google has Internet coolness and lots of cash, but AT&T has a world-class telecommunication infrastructure, great partners (VoltDelta & Apptera) and trained operator back-up.

    I wonder how all the other phone companies are going to respond. Will they just watch their paid-411 volumes slip away or will they all get into the game and we’ll have a dozen choices for free-411? Good for consumers and more targets for advertisers. Everyone wins!

  7. Entirely voice activated sounds better than the 118 services in the UK, some of which are outsourced to Asia. Nothing wrong with this in principle, except some operators haven’t heard of Scotland.

  8. Om–well; depending on whether or not Microsoft/TellMe and/or Google/Nuance decide to assert them (which wouldn’t be surprising given the obvious importance of this space); it looks likely that another “IP war” is likely to be waged over this/these technologies.

    TellMe has no fewer than 12 issued patents; while Nuance has 31.

    Also wouldn’t surprise me if others have applicable patents–both issued and pending–as well.

  9. On a related note, I heard about an interesting company in LA that has a beta call connections service that connects calls to Google and Tellme free-of-charge. The service seems to be accessible at 800-555-5555 for callers in Southern California, and at 310-800-5555 from outside that area. They also have an interesting travel connections portal if you say “travel”. Call their number and check it out.

  10. I tried the service yesterday and i had a terrible experience. the call quality was bad (not once but thrice) and voice recognition was poor.

    was it just me and my luck?

  11. Bad luck, Aditya, it works for me. The best thing is the fake “bo-be-do-boop-de-boop-doop” sound it makes while searching for the listing. I laugh everytime.

  12. Just a note: Nuance and Tellme are not necessarily mutually exclusive; Tellme has been using Nuance technology from day-one and is still using it, though it might change in the future.

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  14. Interesting that no one is really comparing the Goog-411 number with the established free 411 company, 1-800-Free411. Goog-411 has business listings, while 1-800-Free411 has business, residential, and gov’t listings. Both run on speech-recognition technology, but only 1-800-Free411 has live operator support in case what you’re searching for has a very unusual or hard to pronounce name. AND, 1-800-Free411 is doing category search now: http://www.free411.com/about/pressreleases/p20070320

    I understand that people get excited when Google rolls out with something new, but in this case their number is nowhere near the best in the free 411 field.

  15. In the end, free411 and google are exactly the same–placement (for businesses) will be determined by the all might dollar.

    I had a free411 marketing guy stop by my business trying to get me to signup–too pricey….

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