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Google has announced it is bringing its speech recognition and computer vision technology to the desktop. The company also revealed the next step for Google Instant: Instant Pages.
Previously only available for mobile, Google Voice Search makes sure you don't have to type on a tiny touchscreen by making it possible to just speak your query. Every day, people speak more than two years worth of voice into Google's system. Now Google has added the speech recognition feature into search on desktop for Chrome users. If you're using Chrome, you'll start to see a little microphone image in every Google search box. Click the microphone, speak your search, and you're off. Voice Search on desktop is rolling out now on google.com in English:
The other Google search feature that first started on mobile is computer vision. Google Goggles lets you search by snapping a photo on your mobile phone, and now the search giant is introducing the feature to the desktop, though it is renaming it to Search by Image. Next to the microphone image on images.google.com, you'll also see a little camera image. If you click it, you can upload any picture or provide an image URL, and Google will try to figure out what it is. Search by Image is rolling out now globally in 40 languages, and Google is also releasing Chrome and Firefox extensions that let you search any image on the web by right-clicking.
Google Instant, which launched in September 2010, offers you search results while you type. Instant Pages gets the top search result ready in the background while you're choosing which link to click. As you scan the results deciding which one to choose, Google prerenders the top search result for you. That way when you click, the page loads instantly. Instant Pages is only available to those on the next release of Chrome (that's version 13, since Chrome 12 was released last week).
"To learn more about today's news, visit our new Inside Search website at www.google.com/insidesearch," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "The Inside Search website is our new one-stop shop for Google search tips, games, features and an under-the-hood look at our technology, so there's plenty for you to explore. We're far from the dream of truly instantaneous access to knowledge, but we're on our way to help you realize that dream."