'Ok Google' voice activated search arrives on desktop Chrome

By on November 27, 2013, 10:45 AM

Google voice search has been available through Chrome on the desktop for a while, but now the company is bringing the feature a little closer to parity with mobile by releasing a “hotword” extension that puts the browser in listening mode whenever you say “Ok Google”. Once the search engine hears the magic words it'll show you the "Speak now" page and the rest works just like the existing voice search feature would.

With Thanksgiving just a few hours away in the US, Google says the new feature will come in handy in the kitchen.

You’re elbow-deep in your turkey, ready to start the stuffing and you need to calculate how many ounces of walnuts are in a cup. This year, rather than stopping midway through to wash your hands and type in a search, you can just speak: “Ok Google, how many ounces are in one cup?” Et voila. You can also say “Ok Google, set a timer for 30 minutes” so you don’t forget to baste that turkey.

Under normal browsing circumstances it’s not entirely hands free, though, as the active tab in Chrome needs to be Google.com or a search results page for it to work. With Android 4.4 on mobile devices you can bring up the voice search interface by saying “Ok Google” within the home screen, while the Moto X has special hardware that enables always on listening (even with the screen off) to quickly activate voice commands.

Google will likely be expanding the capabilities of the voice search extension going forward. For now, this is limited to the English language and only works in the U.S. version of Google.com.




User Comments: 6

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2 people like this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It may appeal to some but you'll never catch me speaking to my computer unless I'm busy cussing it. Speaking to a device is something I'll never get used to. firstly, you can't have an intelligent conversation with it (like a lot of people I meet so I should be used to that) and secondly you look like a chump. It can come in handy for mobile devices while you're driving but apart from that I'll stick to what works best for me, a keyboard.

1 person liked this | Chuck Cortes Chuck Cortes said:

It may appeal to some but you'll never catch me speaking to my computer unless I'm busy cussing it. Speaking to a device is something I'll never get used to. firstly, you can't have an intelligent conversation with it (like a lot of people I meet so I should be used to that) and secondly you look like a chump. It can come in handy for mobile devices while you're driving but apart from that I'll stick to what works best for me, a keyboard.

I like the idea, it can come in handy in situations where you need to do a quick search and speaking is easier than clicking. I understand your opinion on speaking to devices but with the Xbox One making voice recognition a more common thing in the house and with Android doing the same with their phones and tablets thru Kitkat 4.4, I can see this becoming normal. Specially if you;re a Star Trek fan, like me.

Guest said:

OK Google... Bangkok Chick Boys!

Guest said:

"Google, show me where your leaders are so that we can arrest them for crimes against humanity."

I knew there was a good use for Google Maps!

Littleczr Littleczr said:

It may appeal to some but you'll never catch me speaking to my computer unless I'm busy cussing it. Speaking to a device is something I'll never get used to. firstly, you can't have an intelligent conversation with it (like a lot of people I meet so I should be used to that) and secondly you look like a chump. It can come in handy for mobile devices while you're driving but apart from that I'll stick to what works best for me, a keyboard.

I understand your perspective, but sitting in your room and quickly saying, "Ok, google how many inches in a foot", is way easier then typing it. I do agree I is kind of scary and silly like if some one catches ups talking to our PC.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I understand your perspective, but sitting in your room and quickly saying, "Ok, google how many inches in a foot", is way easier then typing it. I do agree I is kind of scary and silly like if some one catches ups talking to our PC.

I suppose if you get used to it and everybody does it you won't feel like such a imbecile. It can be handy as you say but I don't know...

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