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Almost all big players have VOIP capabilities, incl. Google.
Now, how would G monetize this? I was discussing with a friend the other day, when we had a good laugh about the possible outcomes....Imagine... You are speaking to ur friend using G Talk, & you ask him/her....>>
"Are you @ home now?" & there pops up an ad on Real Estate from an advertizer who has bid on 'home' as his reaL estatr keyword. *S*
On a serious note, is this technically possible, ie, voice recognition 'on the fly'? I have not seen it on Google labs as yet...but, might be they are already working on it.
An immediate application could be Audio advertizing on Podcasts, or is that all ready there now?
I plan to do some reasearch on this...VOIP applications to Audio Contextual Ads. Is anyone already working on it? If yes, lets all do some crystal ball gazing.
anyway, my deleted comment pointed out that both Yahoo and Google have recently hired away speech recognition engineers from Nuance Communications. Nuance is suing Yahoo for taking away 13 engineers and maybe "stealing" trade secrets in the process.
So MSN will probably have a head start in speech recognition -- but I doubt Google will be the first to try to target ads based on eavesdropping algorithms. Sounds too creepy and "evil" for Google. I'm guessing MSFT and YHOO would probably try it, and GOOG would follow once users got over the big-brother potential. Also, MSFT and YHOO have way bigger IM user numbers. I'd also bet that GOOG would introduce VR as a search function without ads in beta for a long time before trying to match ads by VR.
The funny thing might be, though, that users would just start talking in pig-latin or with heavy fake accents to avoid algo-detection. :P