Ask.com has added free voice-activated capabilities to its Mobile Directions service.
'Click to Speak' incorporates technology from voice-activated location-based services company Dial Directions.
The new feature lets people speak their location and desired destination to receive directions on their web-enabled mobile devices.
This eliminates the need to type addresses, which Ask reckons can be slow, error-prone and, in some cases, unsafe.
"Voice input is one more way Ask.com Mobile helps searchers find exactly what they are looking for faster and easier," said Doug Leeds, senior vice president of product management at Ask.com.
"The new 'Click to Speak' service is quick, free and accurate, and makes getting driving or walking directions a breeze."
To use the service, customers need to click on the new 'Click to Speak' option on the Directions service on Ask.com Mobile.
Users are then prompted to speak their location and their desired destination, either by specific address or closest intersection.
A few seconds later, they receive a text message with a link to directions that can be viewed in either traditional list or turn-by-turn step format, with an additional option to switch between driving or walking routes.
"Voice input is a natural complement to the Ask.com Mobile Directions service," said Amit Desai, co-founder and chief product officer of Dial Directions.
"Dial Directions' new spoken location interface technology offers a dramatic improvement over typing addresses on mobile devices."
The service itself is free, although the mobile will need to be internet enabled and carrier and data charges may apply depending on the user's mobile contract.
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