At Google’s news event today, the search giant revealed a multitude of new technologies and strategies they are exploring to ramp up search. Google emphasized the significance of mobile search within its strategy, unveiling a multitude of new features that help users search on the go. The three main areas that Google’s mobile strategy is focused on are Voice, Location, and Sight.
Google’s VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra revealed that Google’s mobile app will be enhanced to take in-depth search queries by voice and then show more accurate results. And Google is launching support for additional languages besides English, including Mandarin and Japanese. The other component to this technology is the ability to translate voice technologies on the go.
Gundotra said today that location will be “a first class component of all the products” Google develops. Google.com’s new mobile homepage will now include customized search suggestions based on location. You’ll also be able to incorporate location with product search, with the new mobile technology providing inventory feeds of local stores. So if you do a search for a Canon camera, you could get results first from the stores that have the camera in stock closest to your current location.
Also, a “Near Me Now” feature on the Google Mobile homepage will show you nearby restaurants, coffee shops, Bars, ATMS, similar to what Yelp offers users with its mobile applications. Google’s new version of Mobile Maps for Android will include this technology.
The example that Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra showed on stage involved taking a picture of a particular bottle of wine. When he ran it through Google Goggles, the result showed that the particular bottle has a hint of apricots. You also will be able to use Goggles to look up things such as CD covers and bar codes (this is likely similar to the popular Android app ShopSavvy). For text, Google Goggles uses optical character recognition (OCR) to try and read things like labels to aid the search.
This morning, Google launched its real-time search offering, which will work on both Android devices and iPhones immediately. Google says there are over a billion realtime documents a day that it will be looking at. This includes tweets, blog posts, and also information from sources like MySpace and Facebook.
Honestly, the push towards location-based search is not surprising at all, but it should be interesting to see if the new technology encroaches upon a space where companies like Yelp make their living. As we wrote earlier today, Goggles takes a huge leap forward in the field of visual search. Of course, rounding out Google’s offerings with real-time technology makes its mobile product significantly more powerful.