Search company Ask Jeeves on Monday unveiled new features to help people get information on flights and local weather and do math computations without jumping to another page on the Net. An extension to Ask Jeeves' Smart Answers, the features are part of the company's push to improve its search tool by providing more direct answers to user queries, much as rival search companies such as Yahoo are doing.
In April, Emeryville, Calif.-based Ask Jeeves introduced its Smart Answers tool set, which includes short cuts to country maps, information on state capitals and driving directions, among other data. Now, people can call up weather information by typing in "Weather in New York," for example. It also provides local surf reports and information on flight delays, and computes numerical conversions such as "how many pints in a quart?" The company says the features draw on Ask Jeeves' natural language technology and users' behavior and preferences in order to deliver the most relevant results.