Yahoo is working on a voice-controlled digital assistant app to compete with Google Now and Apple’s Siri, according what appears to be a promotional video for the upcoming service obtained by Android Police. The news comes soon after Yahoo acquired Skyphrase, a company focused on natural language processing, earlier this month.
The video (which you can watch below) shows the Yahoo app running on what appears to be an Android smartphone, possibly the Galaxy Nexus. The device’s owner enters the car and is immediately asked if he’s heading to work. Once he says yes, Yahoo alerts him to heavy traffic on the road. The man then uses voice commands to send a text message, and edits it once before sending it off. Another photo suggests the app can also locate nearby restaurants.
Yahoo’s new service also appear to feature a Facebook Chat Heads-style design, with the app popping on top of the display and presumably retracting into a single horizontal bar so you can quickly view whatever’s behind it. Whether this will be enough to give the app an edge over Google Now and Siri, which are baked right into their respective operating systems, is unclear, but we’re looking forward to seeing what Yahoo’s final product can do.
Update: It looks like this isn’t a Yahoo product after all. Despite featuring Yahoo branding, the video apparently isn’t affiliated with Yahoo in any way, shape, or form, according to anonymous sources. That sure doesn’t mean Yahoo isn’t working on such a project, but the company is distancing itself from the so-called Google Now/Siri competitor for now.