Google launches Voice Search for the desktop and Search by Image at its Inside Search event June 14. Learn how they work here.
of the features Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) rolled out at its Inside
Search event June 14 were built around delivering end users speed and/or
Voice Search for the desktop and Google Search by Image on the desktop were
certainly intended to provide the latter, both borrowing
from innovation the search engine cultivated first on mobile phones.
a page out of Google's Voice Search for mobile phones, the Voice Search feature
adds an icon to the desktop version of Google.com. When users click it, they
can speak into their computer microphone to conduct searches.
officials demonstrated how Voice Search is particularly useful for long queries
that typically require enough typing to be a nuisance, such as "a recipe
for spaghetti with bolognese sauce." Google was able to track down a
recipe quickly and reliably.
more, users may also make their query in English and get it translated to
Spanish and other languages. Voice Search on desktop leverages the Speech API
in Google's Chrome Web browser and will be available to everyone using Chrome
11 and later versions in English after it has rolled out over the next week.
Speech Technology Manager Mike Cohen noted that this capability is possible
from the 230 billion words Google has recorded for its English speech
recognition system, making the search engine the possessor of an astounding
vocabulary. Voice Search traffic has grown sixfold in the past year alone.
Search by Image joined Voice Search as another technology the company has
borrowed from its mobile phone inventions. Users of the Google Goggles visual
search application have been able to take pictures of landmarks, locations and
some two-dimensional products for the last two years.
Google thought it would be useful to apply this technology to the desktop for times
when users can't find words to bring important context to the picture they are
seeing. This can be especially useful for pictures users have taken and stored
online, such as vacation pictures, but forgot to add captions to them.
with Google Goggles, this feature will work better with landmarks, locations or
paintings than with more personal photos. Johanna Wright, director of search
product management, noted in a blog post:
technology behind Search by Image analyzes your image to find its most
distinctive points, lines and textures and creates a mathematical model. We
match that model against billions of images in our index, and page analysis
helps us derive a best guess text description of your image. Search by Image
technology also includes the ability to match against images on the Web so that
we can show you similar images and webpages that contain your image."
must place images in the search box on Google's images.google.com Website. To
do this, users may click the camera icon in the search box and upload a photo
from their computer, paste the URL of an image from the Web, or drag and drop
pictures from Web pages or their computer into the search box.
Google has created Chrome and Firefox extensions to let users search images
from their computer with a single click. The Chrome and Firefox extensions are
available for download now, but won't work until Search by Image is rolled out
in most countries over the next couple of days.
innovations might not be earth shattering, but they could certainly help Google
maintain its massive search share versus Yahoo and innovative smaller rivals
such as Bing.