At the Google I/O 2013 conference they discussed many advancements to everything from their advertising platform to Google Glass and much more.  One little thing that some people have overlooked is the advancements they are planning to release for voice activated searching.  While it has been possible to use your voice to perform a search on Google for some time, there are some big changes coming in the near future.

While Siri has some bugs and people have quite a few complaints about it, the idea of being able to interact with your computer in a more intuitive way is very popular among most people, and Google is looking to capitalize on that.  Without giving specifics on how it will work the announcement indicated that when your PC or mobile device hears you say, “OK Google” it will be ready to take a command.  You can then speak your question and it will provide you with the answer, often in a spoken voice.

Sounds like Siri, right?  Just wait.

When you ask something like, “What time is it in San Francisco, California” it will reply with the time.  Simple enough.  You can then, however, continue the conversation by saying something like, “What is the weather like there?”  OK Google will determine that because you were just asking about San Francisco, California that is what the “there” is for your search and it will provide you the weather of San Francisco.  You can then continue to ‘conversation’ by asking how long it would take to get there from here.

Google, knowing that you were speaking about San Francisco, and using the GPS or other information to determine where ‘here’ is in the inquiry will then be able to map out the route and tell you how long it will take to get there.

This is a fairly simple example, but it shows that rather than just being a voice recognition system, “OK Google” is working on becoming a true personal assistant that can understand more than just one thing at a time.

At first glance this may seem like just a nice new feature from the search giant, but it may have a bigger impact on the marketing world than most people would realize.  When doing these types of ‘conversational’ searches there is nowhere for ads to appear.  On the other side of the coin, however, when asking OK Google about where you can get something to eat in San Francisco there is a perfect opportunity to serve up some very targeted advertisements.

If there is one thing we can be sure about with Google it is that they will find a great way to monetize this new feature once it is released.  It will be interesting to see how Google does it and what types of opportunities it provides for people who use this feature and the advertisers that properly take advantage of it.

What's your opinion?