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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Google Chrome gets voice search update

Google has added an “always-on” voice search for computer users on its Chrome browser in an update released on Tuesday. The extension to Google Chrome enables hands-free searching from, with users saying “OK Google” followed by their search term.
The service for desktop operates in the same way as it does on Google’s Nexus 5 smartphones, as well as a whole host of other mobile devices.
When users want to do another search, they simply say “OK Google” followed by their next desired search term. The feature is available for both desktops and laptops.
It comes after the release of Google’s Android 4.4 Kitkat operating system at the end of last month, in which always-on was given much more prominence.
The always-listening feature was first introduced on the company’s smart glasses, Google Glass, which is activated by the phrase “OK Glass”.
The Moto X, released in August outside of the UK, was Motorola’s first phone since it was bought by Google, and also has a microphone permanently listening for the words “OK Google Now,” which allow a user to wake the device up from sleep and then to search the web or use Google's Now service.
On releasing the phone, Google said: “Moto X is ready when you are. It responds to your voice - no touching necessary. With Touchless Control you can check the weather, get directions, or do just about anything without lifting a finger.”
A similar service is now available to users of Google Chrome on desktop PCs or laptops.
In May Google suggested that computers of the future will understand natural language and will be able to speak back to us.
Writing on the Google blog, Amit Singhal explained: “Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer.
“Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.” He went on: “People communicate with each other by conversation, not by typing keywords -- and we’ve been hard at work to make Google understand and answer your questions more like people do.
 “Already, you can tap a mic, talk to Google in a more natural way and get responses spoken back to you on Android, iPhone, and iPad devices.”

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