Ask.com has launched a really neat new feature for their mobile search engine called “Click to Speak.” The new feature is available without a download on any mobile browser and gives you directions between any address. Simply point your phone’s browser to mobile.ask.com and choose the new Voice Entry option. You will be prompted to call the number, and a very friendly voice greets you and asks a few questions.
Once you’ve told them where you are and where you want to go, you’re sent an SMS that contains a link to view your directions, turn by turn, with a map at the bottom. I tried this on my iPhone and it worked a charm.
The cool thing about this is that it works on any mobile phone, on any network. Quite possibly the easiest way to get directions when mobile. There’s nothing to download, and the only personal information you’re passing along is your phone number. There’s a few drawbacks, since you can’t really search for the closest ATM or McDonald’s, for instance.
Yet another really cool way to use speech-to-text technology in the mobile arena, and hopefully we’ll see more like this. I’d like to be able to call a number and tell them I want the address to the closest On The Border restaurant and have the address texted to me. Now THAT would be awesome.
Props to Ask.com for being the first with something like this. The service is provided by Dial Directions.