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Will Google add voice recognition to mobile enterprise search?

Matt Eichner, Google’s head of enterprise search, hinted that the search giant is gearing up to add the capability

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Matt Eichner, Google’s general manager of enterprise search, has hinted that companies may soon benefit from voice recognition when searching enterprise data on mobile devices.

Google's search appliance is an out-of-the-box solution that integrates with enterprise applications and can scale to support billions of documents. It can search 220 file types, including HTML, PDF, Microsoft Office and Lotus, and is supported by a number of security protocols, including single sign-on mechanisms. It is also available on mobile devices.

Speaking to Computerworld UK at an enterprise search conference in London recently, Eichner suggested that enterprise search on mobile devices would become more prolific as time goes on and that it would make sense for Google to add voice recognition capabilities to its search function.

"As I’m walking around I should have the same expectation in the enterprise as I do when I’m on my mobile. We will see devices continue to proliferate, so it won’t just be the mobile, it will be on tablets etc.," said Eichner.

"I’ll give you a good example of what will be coming out. Wait, I don’t know if I can say this. Let’s just say, imagine you are walking along and you don’t want to type in your search query on your mobile device, you want to voice that in. You can do that today on the web, so why can’t you do that in the enterprise?"

Independent analyst Peter Chadha commented that although this feature may not be essential for enterprises at the moment, going forward it could be a very useful tool.

"At this moment in time for most enterprises this will be a 'nice to have'," said Chadha.

"However, in the future, having a Google enterprise device with the ability to carry out voice searches will be very helpful as we all become paperless workers using tablet based technology."

Eichner also described how Google is attempting to replicate the consumer experience of search in the enterprise.

"If you look at Google in the search space, we are taking that consumer expectation that we developed on and packaged both the user interface and the algorithms behind it into an enterprise appliance," he said.


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