Google LLC has reportedly announced a flurry of new partnerships and India-first product features at the 7th edition of the Google for India conference. These product features are focused on helping new internet users in India get easier access to information in regional languages, offer support for youngsters and small businesses in the country, and create more organic ways for local language speakers to connect to the internet.
According to Sanjay Gupta, the Vice President & Country Head of Google India, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in Indians adopting digital services at unprecedented levels across businesses, and institutions. He noted that India has the potential of becoming a digital economy with the establishment of fundamental digital drivers and new online users. It is now essential to step up its product-building efforts that encapsulate the unique and diverse needs of the country, added Gupta.
New vaccine booking flow with Google Assistant support
Prabhakar Raghavan, the Senior Vice President at Google, announced a pilot program for end-to-end, Google Assistant-enabled vaccine booking flow on Chrome for Android browser in India. Slated to launch in early 2022, the feature will assist users throughout the process of booking an appointment for vaccination on the CoWIN website, using voice guidance in eight Indian languages.
Talking about the feature, Raghavan cited that India is still a global leader in the adoption of innovative technologies like language understanding and speech recognition. The country produces twice the number of average voice queries globally and around one-third of Indian Google Assistant users are interacting in local languages, which highlights the importance of these innovations, he noted.
Furthermore, a Google Search feature will allow people to hear out search results with an aim to make it accessible for users who favor consuming information via audio. The feature will be available in Hinglish which is a combination of Hindi and English, along with five Indian languages including Marathi, Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.