Better late than never, Google shuts down voice search in India

Google launched its voice recognition service im 2008  and the right from the day one, it has been a big failure. The service basically used voice recognition, failing which Google used to transfer the call to their Hyd based call center, a process that is way too costly and suboptimal for Google.

The company has now announced that they are shutting down the service.

This labs experiment helped us learn more about user needs and build core technologies like speech recognition, which are helping change how people search and perform other activities on the web. It also served as the starting point for our recently launched Google Mobile App, which enables users to search by voice, and is compatible with a variety of Indian accents.

Given the overlapping purposes of these products, we’ll be winding down Google Phone Search and encouraging Indian users to take advantage of Google Mobile App (GMA), which provides a far richer experience compared to the limited medium of phone call. GMA allows you to visually interact in addition to speech. So if you were a fan of Google Phone Search may be it’s time to say hello to GMA and give it a try. – official blog

Even though Google doesn’t accepts the failure of voice recognition part (they have portrayed the mobile app as an alternative offering), the reality is that it never took off and handful of customers who tried it never saw it working.

Launching a mobile app keeps the offering simple – appeals to  a particular TG and doesn’t get into the hands of ‘Justdial kind of consumer base’ (even Yahoo has a similar offering).

A whole lot of companies have tried voice recognition in India and most of them have had little or no success, thanks to different dialects/accents that exists in India.

Google’s service was pathetically sad and even failed to recognize the ‘normal’ accents.

And that’s precisely the reason, askLaila launched its human powered call center; and Justdial still works for most of us.

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