V-enable2.jpg
(from V-Enable’s homepage demo)

Google filed a patent for voice-activated search five years ago, and it was finally awarded yesterday.

Wonder what this means for start-ups like Promptu, of Menlo Park, or V-Enable, of San Diego, which also have developed voice-based search technology, for mobile phones?

Less than a year ago, Promptu’s parent, AgileTV, raised $22 million in venture capital, though its business model extends beyond voice search. More vulnerable is V-Enable, which focuses entirely on voice search, and several weeks ago announced it had raised $6 million in venture capital.