According to some reports, Google is testing a new speech-to-text voice search feature on Google.com. Given that Google added the ability to process voice input through HTML to its Chrome browser just a short while ago, this report does sound believable at first. The screenshot that accompanies the discussion on the Webmaster World forum that started this rumor, however, looks exactly like the Voice Search Chrome extension that has been on the market for quite a while.
Here is what the supposed Google test looks like:
Here is what the extension looks like:
They look exactly the same to me (though, of course, it’s always possible that Google’s feature is an exact copy of this extension).
Given that Google already offers voice search for mobile devices, adding this feature to its regular browser-based search interface is likely not a hard technical challenge and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Google doing this at some point in the future. On mobile devices, voice search does make more sense, though, as using a small keyboard for long searches can quickly becomes frustrating. On the desktop, typing generally isn’t an issue for most people and I’m not sure most users are comfortable with speaking to their computers yet.
If you like the idea of having this feature in your browser, though, here is the Voice Search extension for Chrome.
[via: The Next Web]