Google Labs has launched their latest experiment; Google Voice Local Search. This is a free automated phone service that allows you to search for local businesses.
The concept is simple, you call Google-411, tell them your location and the business name or category you want to search and Google-411 quickly responds with a list of results to choose from. Google-411 will then return the address and phone number of the business you selected and gives you the option of being directly connected to the business of your choice free of charge (regular charges may still apply depending on your service provider). You can also say “text message” to have an SMS text message sent to your cell phone detailing the information you requested.
On my first attempt, I was being connected to the business of my choice within 15 seconds of calling Google-411. In my experience testing this service, it couldn’t have been simpler or more intuitive to use (especially if you’ve ever tried dealing with tech support via an automated phone system). Though this shouldn’t come as a surprise being that it is a Google service. It should however be noted that I do live in a city (Madison, Wisconsin) that isn’t too small or too big, so I can not attest to the quality of this service at other locations.
I would love to see this service expand to provide more features like directions or to give you the option of permanently setting a location to your particular phone number or predetermining your location based on your land line phone number, or triangulation of your cell phone signal. It will be interesting to see how this service improves over time.
I’m young and have never needed to use the “Yellow Pages” because of the convenience of the Internet and Google’s services, now with the addition of Google Voice Local Search I’ll never be without that convenience. Google-411 is like having the Yellow Pages with you wherever you go.
To try out this service for yourself just dial 1.800.GOOG.411 (1.800.466.4411).
Originally posted on April 7, 2007 @ 1:28 am