Maluuba, the Waterloo, Canada-based Siri competitor and TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 Battlefield finalist, today announced that it has added two new features to its voice-powered personal assistant app for Android and Windows Phone: sports and TV schedules. With this, Maluuba users in the U.S. and Canada can now ask it for near real-time sports results and query the service for TV listings in their area by name, genre or channel.
One aspect of the service the Maluuba team has always been proud of is the fact that it has managed to add additional domains to the service quickly. The service started out with 18 domains, including restaurants, movies and general knowledge queries, but the team has continued to expand the range of topics it can handle since then. It has also rapidly expanded internationally since its launch and launched its Windows Phone 8 app earlier this year, too.
With the new sports integration – and thanks to Maluuba’s expertise in natural language processing – users can ask Maluuba questions like “When is the next Blackhawks game?” or ‘How many wins do the New York Yankees have?” and get answers almost immediately. To get this data, the company has partnered with Sports Direct. For TV shows, Maluuba now understands questions like “When’s The Big Bang Theory playing next?” or “What’s on Channel 5?”
“These features are a testament to our vision. Users want exact results, not just blue links that are merely related,” Mohamed Musbah, Maluuba’s product manager, said in a canned statement today. “When you first use Sports or TV search on Maluuba, you’ll realize how easy and fast search can be.”
With its recently announced “conversational search” feature, Google is also adding more voice and NLP-powered search tools to its feature set. Maluuba, right now, still seems to be ahead of Google in many areas, The company tells me that it believes Google’s entry into this market validates Maluuba’s model and the team doesn’t seem to be afraid of Google for now.