PHOTO - Andrew McGlinchey, Product Manager, Google Southeast Asia (right) and Google Malaysia Country Consultant Hanson Toh at the launch of Google Voice Search in Bahasa Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR, 31 MARCH 2011 - Internet giant Google has extended its Voice Search, which allows users to speak queries into their mobile phone for instant search results, to include Malaysia's national language - Bahasa Malaysia.
Google Southeast Asia product manager Andrew McGlinchey said that Google Voice Search, which was previously available in English, gives people a fast way to search the web from their mobile phones by speaking rather than typing. "Malaysian consumers are sophisticated mobile users who frequently use their phone as their primary way to access the web, so it's important to make mobile search easy and convenient no matter what device or language you use. Voice has always been the most natural way to interact with a phone--speaking is quicker and easier than typing on a small touchscreen or keyboard."
"Voice Search in Bahasa Malaysia combines local expertise with Google's global speech recognition technology," said McGlinchey. "To build Voice Search, Google taught computers to understand the sounds and words that make up spoken language by working with native speakers to collect speech samples the models that power the service. For Bahasa Malaysia, Google worked with local student volunteers to collect speech samples, which were then integrated into the language models that power the service."
"With more than 31.5 million cellular phone subscribers, a penetration rate of 108.8 per cent and smartphones accounting for two of every five mobile phones sold in 2010, Malaysia has seen a large growth in the amount of search queries being done through phones, compared to PCs," he said, adding that by using Google's mobile app, users could search by voice in Bahasa Malaysia or in any of the other 19 languages that Voice Search recognises.
Voice Search is available for Android 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, for iPhone, and for BlackBerry. Users can access it via m.google.com.my/voicesearch.
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