Maluuba, the Android-based Siri competitor and TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco finalist, just announced that it has partnered with OpenTable and the menu and restaurant hours database Locu. Maluuba is also launching a full version of its app in India, allowing users there to access local information about movies, businesses, restaurants and events.
Thanks to the partnership with OpenTable, the app’s users can now use Maluuba to get answers to questions like “what are some great Italian restaurants that I can make a reservation at?” and use commands like “I’d like to book a table for two at Ristorante Milano.” Maluuba will now also display links to OpenTable for all other queries that bring up restaurant details.
Sadly, the integration with Locu’s menu and restaurant hours database is currently not voice-driven. Instead, users have to resort to using the touch screen to access this information. The nice thing about using Locu, though, is that it allows users to search for specific menu items. Soon, as the company told me earlier this week, you’ll be able to ask the service questions like “where can I get cheese omelets for breakfast?” Locu currently supports about 500,000 restaurants and continues to add new restaurants at a rapid pace.
The fact that Maluuba decided to launch in India doesn’t come as a big surprise. Because the company needs local partnerships to provide a full range of data for its services, it’s rolling out its international apps slowly, though there is also an international edition that has a somewhat limited feature set. Even with just this limited version, India is already Maluuba’s fourth largest market after the U.S., Canada and Australia (followed by Spain and the Netherlands), so the decision to launch there came pretty naturally.
To power this version of the app, Maluuba is using local data from Google Places for restaurants, West World Media for movies and Eventful for events. As Maluuba CEO Sam Pasupalak told me, the company aims to “partner up with the best possible APIs to provide our users with the best possible experience.”
Maluuba’s mission is to empower people with the ability to find exactly what they want by speaking to their smart phone. Maluuba’s proprietary, patent-pending engine provides superior capabilities to traditional voice recognition systems. Asking a question like, “what movies are playing nearby?” enables users to buy tickets, find theater directions, and share search results on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The Maluuba language engine is a product of two years of advanced research in artificial intelligence, machine learning...