Friday, December 04, 2009

How hard would it be? A couple of ideas for future Google services

Just a couple of ideas I had for future Google services. I can't imagine these would take long to implement.
  • Dictation and transcription service. Leverage Google Voice's voicemail transcriptions for longer messages, either phoned in or submitted in audio files. Compete with CastingWords. For an additional fee, add light human editing.
  • Voice appointments. Allow people to speak their appointments into Google Calendar, using the same syntax as Quick Add.
  • Video voicemail. Integrate Google Voice with Google Video/YouTube capabilities to allow Seesmic-like messaging. This might take off more easily when Android phones have forward-facing cameras, but it's device-independent.
Have any other ideas that involve leveraging current Google (or other) services? Leave them in the comments.


Sarah Mount said...

Dial2do does some of this btw... and it's free :-)

Clay Spinuzzi said...

I'll check it out!

Bryce said...

I've been wanting to write this up for my blog, but what the heck... here you go. ;-)

I really wish that the Navigation app for Android would offer some 'social proof' elements for its real-time traffic overlay. So far, I've found that it works extremely (eerily) well... except when it doesn't. :-/ I suspect it's directly tied to the amount of information that they're getting (ie. the number of people down the highway ahead of me who are also using Android / have their phone on / GPS running.)

So I'd like some simple stats: "10 cars sampled" vs. "1 report 20 mins ago." This would give me some notion of how much to trust any specific route traffic info.

I know they'd have to stay aware of privacy / security concerns, but this is what Google excels at: aggregating information and presenting it in actionable, useful ways w/appropriate levels of obscurity in place. ;-)

Clay Spinuzzi said...

Great idea.

Stupid question: Does Google turn by turn navigation take real-time traffic into account when plotting routes so that it can suggest optimal routes based on traffic?

Could turn-by-turn navigation also volunteer traffic information verbally? "Traffic is heavy one mile ahead on your route."

Bryce said...

It does so, in a limited way. There's a Traffic 'overlay' that you can turn on that shows you your entire route, from you current loc to destination: good-poor-horrible is color-coded to Green-Yellow-Red.

It doesn't speak the traffic conditions and -- as far as I know -- doesn't alter the route based on them. It DOES, however, give you a 'show me 3 more options' button when you're approaching a Red state. (Ha. Pun totally intended.)