I really like a lot of what Google is doing. Really. Cars without pedals, glasses except for people who need them… Okay, fine: much of my online presence is Googlish.
One of their pastimes has been games. There was a great physics game where the object was to make intricate Rube Goldberg machines out of flippers, bouncers and other pinball-esque pieces.
I’m not sure what they learned about me from that game, but I’m pretty sure that Spell Up has a couple of bonuses for Google aside from the warm fuzzy feeling of helping to cure hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobics of their fear of achieving sesquipedalianhood.
- It gets chrome users to allow Chrome to use their microphones. This is big if they want to get people using their voice-command search service.
- It gives them a huge sample of people all over the world speaking single letters. A great way to improve their voice recognition algorithms, perhaps even tying them to the player’s account
This second has, for the tinfoil-hatted crowd, the obvious issue of “the microphone will go on and I’ll be spied upon by clean-cut, serious Mormons in Pochatello, Idaho who are determined to keep Amerka safe at all costs.” That’s sort of an issue, I guess, if someone is truly sloppy with where they go on the Internet and how they set up their systems. Which means, about 90% of users.
For me, I see the game as a lost cause, since it’s us polysyllabic aphorism users who will wage war with the game. And give Google a very good vocal profile of people who already know how to spell and have great diction.