Dialing Microsoft for Voice Search

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Microsoft Flow Chart on Voice Search

You pick up your mobile phone, dial “888 MSN-srch*” and say “pizza.” (*warning, phone number is used for illustration purposes only.)

On your screen appears the addresses, links to web sites, and phone numbers for the closest pizza places around you.

A new patent application from Microsoft describes a way to search by voice, and receive text results by SMS message, IM, or search result listings in a web browser. While someone searching can add geographical information, such as a zip code, this system may be able to identify a location through a variety of other methods, such as GPS or cell tower triangulation.

Speech-to-text software would be used to convert the voice search query into a text search query.

Here’s the patent application:

Searching for content using voice search queries
Invented by Oliver Hurst-Hiller and Julia H. Farago
Assigned to Microsoft
US Patent Application 20070005570
Published January 4, 2007
Filed June 30, 2005


A system, method and computer-readable media are disclosed for searching for content from a device. The system, method, and computer-readable media are adapted to transmit a voice search query from a device and can in return allow the device to receive corresponding non-voice search result data. Once non-voice search result data is received it can be displayed to the user on a display of the device.

This post has made me hungry.

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5 thoughts on “Dialing Microsoft for Voice Search”

  1. Hi Andrew,

    You’re welcome, and thank you. The images are something that you can see online at the USPTO as long as you use one of the browser plugins that they mention. When you are looking at the full text view of a patent, there’s a link on the page to “images” where you can see the associated images with a patent filing. They are in tiff format, so one of the plugins is necessary.

  2. Thanks once again for the good patent post.

    Are you actually able to buy these in full? I ask because the shopping basket breaks for me (the add to resolves to a white page – and no item is placed in the basket). I’ve tried four different browsers, checked and wiped cookies and even used American IP addresses. I’ve certainly been able to buy and review patent applications in the past. Grr.

  3. Bill:

    I saw in the Wall Street Journal today that Microsoft is fairly advanced in voice recognition and includes some real good tools in Vista. Of course, they don’t advertise or promote it and also leave the user on his own to figure it out.

    Have you seen any patents by the frequently morphing company that now owns Naturally Speaking? I understand they are trying to become THE player in voice recognition and usage by machines. The current name of this corporation is Nuance Communications I think.

  4. That’s an interesting thought in searching with your voice. It’ll make search a lot easier when you’re healthy and have a strong voice but if you are sick and no one can understand then there’s no point in using it. It’s nice that we can speak and make it work. I can see myself using it but it might be a little bit difficult finding the right phrase since everyone’s voice is different. It will take immense amount of tweaking but it will work out well after that.

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