That’s the name for Google’s new telephone voice recognition based Local Search service.
Using this service, you can:
- search for a local business by name or category. You can say “Giovanni’s Pizzeria” or just “pizza”.
- get connected to the business, free of charge.
- get the details by SMS if you’re using a mobile phone. Just say “text message”.
Users just have to dial 1-800-GOOG-411 to use this free service. Since 1-800 numbers are toll free, this Google service really turns eyes because the directory services in the US usually other charge subscribers $2.00 a minute. Once it’s out of Google Labs, they’re probably going to make you listen to ads to be able to give you a free service. But, I’m sure everyone is going to love the service.
In India, we continue to pay MTNL and Airtel at premium rates for using their directory services. And Google doesn’t seem to be having any plans of expanding the service so that it works in India. And if they ever try, our Indian government is going to ban the service just like they were going to ban Skype and other VOIP services because they thought MTNL would lose a lot of money.