Google Inc (GOOG) Highlights: Rolls Out Voice Search, Glass Integration to Mercedes-Benz, Screenless Computers & More

Editor’s Note: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Google rolls out voice search for Gmail, Calendar and Google+ (ZDNet)
Google is rolling out the voice-based search that’s been available through Google Now to its other services such as Gmail, Calendar and Google+. The feature is being enabled through Google Search, allowing people to ask questions about commonly queried topics, such as “is my flight on time?” and “when will my package arrive?”. The main categories people can query using voice include reservations, purchases, plans, and photos. As long as the details are stored in one of the Google services, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will return formatted responses to a voice query. Voice search will be available on the desktop through Google’s Chrome browser and on tablets and smartphones via the Google Search App for iOS and Android, Google said.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)Mercedes Is Testing Google Glass Integration, and It Actually Works (Wired)
I put the car in park, unplug the phone, and put Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass on my face. Within seconds, I’ve got step-by-step directions to a coffee shop down the street beamed directly to my eyeballs. This is what Mercedes-Benz has planned for the future, and not only do they have a functioning prototype, they’re working with Google to make it a reality. It’s called “Door-to-Door Navigation,” and it’s just the latest in a string of high-tech pushes the automaker has made in the past few years. It started with Mercedes doubling its resources and employees at its Silicon Valley research center, which allowed the automaker to work on a thoroughly revised infotainment platform and develop one of the first comprehensive integrations of Apple’s iPhone into its entry level and youth-focused CLA.

Google is preparing for screenless computers (Quartz)
The spread of computing to every corner of our physical world doesn’t just mean a proliferation of screens large and small—it also means we’ll soon come to rely on mobile computers with no screens at all. “It’s now so inexpensive to have a powerful computing device in my car or lapel, that if you think about form factors, they won’t all have keyboards or screens,” says Scott Huffman, head of the Conversation Search group at Google. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is already moving rapidly to enable voice commands in all of its products. On mobile phones, Google Now for Android and Google’s search app on the iPhone allow users to search the web via voice, or carry out other basic functions like sending emails.

A look into the mind-bending Google Glass of 2029 (CNET)
When Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass made its first public appearance on April 4, 2012, it signaled the beginning of a new era of computing. Consider the precedent: In the span of half a decade, the computer moved from the desktop to the pocket, and now with Glass it is moving to the head, on its way to eventually integrating itself inside the human body. Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, calls Glass a “solid first step” along the road to computers that rival and then exceed human intelligence. Kurzweil, who is also an accomplished inventor and futurist, predicts that by 2029 computers will match human intelligence, and nanobots inhabiting our brains will create immersive virtual reality environments from within our nervous systems.

Rita Clifton on BBC News – Google Tax Row (BBC News)

Google Street View backpack launched in UK (Telegraph.co.uk)
The “Google Trekker”, a backpack which captures images for the company’s Street View service, is due to start capturing images of the UK’s canals and rivers. The backpack, which is designed to allow users to capture views in remote locations, has already been used to record views from Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef. The Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Trekker will be loaned to the UK for the first time, to document the canals and waterways across the nation. The Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for England and Wales’ waterways has partnered with Google in the venture which will see employees and volunteers using the 360 degree camera.

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