Google 411 was a local service in US to search local businesses and places by just dialing 1800-Goog411. Google has recently pulled the plug on the service and it is not available for the users anymore. Quite interestingly it has been the tool not only to provide free POI, people and telephone number searching for general public, but it has also been a great way of training Google’s voice recognition engine.
I believe not many people are using this tool now as everyone is now moving on to the smarter phones like iPhone, Android, BlackBerries or Windows 7 phones. Google has also found better ways of training it’s voice engine to further perfection.
Google Voice transcribes users’ calls that end up in the voice mail and sends it as emails etc. Android phones are also doing lots of searching and other commands based voice commands and all these tools are helping Google’s engine to learn how it can take voice recognition to the next level.
As a result, Google Mobile has announced support for African languages like Zulu and Afrikaans. They will also support voice recognition for South African accented English language as well. Read more about it here.