Google Phone Search has been launched in 2 more Indian cities (Mumbai & Bangalore). Using a ‘combination of advanced speech recognition technology and local experts’ it attempts to make local business information, movie times and real time flight status accessible from any phone. Users can call a toll free number, 1-800-41-999-999 to access information. According to the Google India blog, the speech recognition technology is still not perfect and it may not recognize you at times. It will transfer your call to an operator after 2 recognition failures who can assist you with your query. I tried it myself and the user experience was simple, fast and error-free. Just the kind of stuff that has made the brand synonymous with Search.
There is an apocryphal story in advertising about a client asking it’s agency why they have to resort to advertising at all. The client felt that ‘if Google can do it, so can we’. But the brand has been built on the back of great products which endear them to consumers without resorting to advertising to do the job.
Another project which has been talked about a lot and exemplifies the way Google expands its influence is the Google Internet Bus. It’s a web connected bus that will travel to different parts of Tamil Nadu giving people an opportunity to experience the Internet first hand through the various computers installed inside the bus.
More photos of the Google Internet Bus here.
The beauty of the ‘synonymous with Information’ platform is that the opportunities are limitless. Initiatives like the Google Book Search, which also includes magazines are just an example of that. With the proliferation of mobile phones in India, products like Phone Search are just what the doctor ordered. No wonder the brand has been built purely on the basis of it’s product and shrewd PR.