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Google Now sneaks in a pedometer + new voice search

by Alistair Lowe on 2 November 2012, 11:15

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Many users of Google Now on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean devices awoke to a somewhat different screen of cards yesterday, summarising the number of miles they had walked over the past month.

That's right folks, secretly you may very well have been a beta tester for a new Google Now card, though, figures are apparently based on the position that Google Now transmits as part of day-to-day functioning and so no extra data has been transmitted from devices, though, we do wonder if an accelerometer was used at all to distinguish walking from say biking or automotive transport.

Google Now Pedometer

In a way, this card's pretty cool and at the very least, a pat-on-the-back or motivation to do more walking in the following month. It's believed that the card appeared now as the month ticked over, so that a full-month's data could be generated and compared, for this reason, many UK users of Android 4.1 may not yet see this card, however it's perhaps one to look-out for come December.

On another note, with relevance to Google Now voice search, Google has detailed its recent updates to its general voice search engine, exposing some of the inner-workings of the new system. The firm has compiled a database of over 230 billion google'd search terms and has calculated the probability of what a user may say next, improving the reliability of the system when it fails to understand a spoken word.

In practical terms, the new system is contributing to a reduction in word error rate of between 6 and 52 per cent, depending on the task and complexity involved.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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This is....weird to say the least.

Mine doesn't show it. Maybe because I'm on CM10?
my locations services were off so nothing for me!
I cant find it either? - I am on 4.1.

What bugs me about Google is they have these cool apps, eg face recognition and the Voice recognition but its not till someone tells you about them or you read about them by chance (on here for example) do you find them.
These are very very cool, powerful apps that deserve a little bit more fanfare.
how does it know how u cycled? mine came up last night...but i've never used cycling directions in the maps feature. HmM...
Probably accelerometer measurements to see if you were walking, possibly coupled with some kind of intelligent algorithm to determine whether your speed/acceleration/deceleration were consistent with particular modes of transport. If this is on CM10 I'm looking forward to getting that on my o2x and starting to use it, so I can compare the distance it thinks I've done with the distances my cycle computer thinks I've done :D