Google has released a voice control add-on for its Chrome browser that should allow users to search for items without having to touch their keyboard.
The new Google Voice Search Hotword extension is available from the Chrome Web Store and Google said that it should remove the need to type search terms into its search engine. This could provide handy if you’re otherwise occupied, and the firm used Thanksgiving as an excuse to try out the feature.
“You’re elbow-deep in your turkey, ready to start the stuffing and you need to quickly 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 to your laptop: 'OK Google, how many ounces are in one cup?' Et voila, the cooking can go on," the firm wrote in a Google+ post.
On the Chrome Store app page for the Hotword function Google notes that use of the service requires permission to access a laptop's microphone and that a user must say, “OK Google” before commencing a search.
The tool is still in beta mode at present and in our brief tests in the V3 office, it struggled to hear our requests as it failed to act on our commands. Google will no doubt be hoping the beta use of the product will help it refine the service and improve it for the future.
Voice-controlled technologies have been growing in mainstream use ever since Apple included its Siri personal assistant in the iPhone 4S. It recently acquired Israeli company PrimeSense in a move that could see it bring gesture controls to its products too.
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