Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Google Program Turns Voicemail into Email

INTERNET search engine, Google, has expanded its push into the telephone market, offering a service that provides a single number for home, work and mobile phones and turns voicemail into email.

Google Voice automatically transcribes voicemail messages into email or SMS and provides a transcript in a user's email inbox on their computer or mobile phone.

"When you receive a voicemail, Google Voice will automatically transcribe it into text so you can read what the voicemail is about," Google said in an instructional video on the company blog. It warned, however, that back the transcripts are "fully automated" through voice recognition technology, they "may include mistakes."

The service is currently accessible only to existing users of a Google-owned telephone service known as GrandCentral, which the internet company purchased in July 2007. But Google said it is to be offered for free to new subscribers to Google Voice in the next few weeks.

GrandCentral provides a single telephone number for home, work, and mobile phones and a central voicemail inbox that can be accessed through the web. Additionally, its allows for low-priced International calls over the internet. Like GrandCentral, Google voice will also allow users to consolidate their home, work and mobile phones in a single telephone number.

Google during the past year has been actively exploring ways to expand its revenue, almost all of which currently comes from internet search advertising.

Recent moves include adding advertisements to Google properties such as Google News, Google Maps and Google Finance and to videos on YouTube, which Google purchased for $US1.6 billion in 2006.

Yesterday, Google launched a test version of a new "interest-based" advertising system that shows ads targeted to web surfers based on their previous online activities.

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