The Knowledge Generation Bureau, or kgb, is visiting 18 cities to introduce consumers to their new 542542 text answer service, which answers any question on any topic in minutes.Î¾ kgb CEO Bruce Stewart says it's a natural extension of his company's directory assistance service, which handles 411 calls for several carriers.
"We purchased ten Smart cars, you know, the small little Smart cars—very green, right?Î¾ We're just taking our message out and introducing kgb, the service — and the brand and the company — to people in a fun way.Î¾ How, in their daily lives, you know, texting a question that they might have to 542542 can become a daily part of their schedule.Î¾ It's a combination of technology plus a human-powered sort of search.Î¾ And while you go and multi-task, which everybody's doing all the time on their phones anyway, and let us do the heavy lifting and find that answer for you."Î¾Î¾Î¾
It's a fee-based service — 99 cents per answer.
"When people are mobile and they're on their mobile devices, sometimes it's awfully difficult to get it in a traditional search model on the mobile phone.Î¾ They may say 'what is the the Spanish word or the Japanese word or the Chinese word for 'blank,' and so they could be looking for a simple English-to-another-language translation.Î¾ We see that.Î¾ Your kid asks you kind of a question like 'why is the sky blue?'Î¾ And you're like 'gee, that's a great one.Î¾ Let me see ifÎ¾kgb can help me out and answer my five-year-old's 'why is the sky blue' question."Î¾
Kgb's 542542 text answer service was launched in January with a suite of information services that deliver information by text, Web and mobile applications.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.