Google has invested in speech recognition patents, which hint at a future in voice-enabled search, via an all new speech translator.

The search powerhouse acquired a portfolio of American patents and patent applications from the SR Tech Group, and several related to voice or speech recognition technology.

sound-waveIn a press statement early this week, SR Tech Group described the sale of patents which cover a speech interface for search engines and a new system for modifying and updating a speech recognition programme, amongst others. Google didn’t comment on the reasons for the purchase, but it seems likely that the patents have a lot to do with the Google Glass project.

Voice activation is a fundamental aspect of Google’s head set computer, and the company already boasts a portfolio of more than 50,000 patents worldwide. Many believe they’ll soon unveil a comprehensive speech translator.

Of course, speech activated search is already in the works; having been introduced for desktop and laptop use, via Chrome, at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco last May. The search engine’s ‘Conversational Search’ feature is already used on mobile devices. It sources information from the Google Knowledge Graph based upon a spoken word query.

Prototype Google Glasses, known as the Google Glass Explorer, are currently in the hands of developers who are racing to patent technology which will be put to use within the device. Details of the deal which helped Google to land their latest voice activation patents have not been made public.

Stay tuned to the HitSearch blog for a lot more on Google Glass, and the next generation of search.