Yahoo developing voice assistant of its own
How does a company like Yahoo stay relevant in a world where we’ve long moved past the days of manually indexed websites, a world where out-Googling Google at pure search seems like a gargantuan task? Instead of trying to relive past glory, Yahoo instead has its sights set on the future, and in an earnings call this week, CEO Marissa Mayer discussed one of the ways her company intends to do just that, moving into the realm of voice search and personal assistant services.
Just like Apple has its Siri, Google its Google Now, and Microsoft its Cortana, Yahoo wants a voice assistant of its own. Existing Yahoo software like its Aviate launcher (above) represents some early steps in that direction, offering the sort of context-sensitive automation we expect from voice assistants, but Yahoo has grander ambitions, and it’s clear from Mayer’s comments that she’d like to see something that can compete head-to-head with those mobile-platform-backed heavyweights.
Yahoo’s efforts are codenamed Index, and it ultimately plans to deliver Index as a smartphone app. An initial test build may be ready before the second half of the year, but there’s not a lot more we know just yet.