Do you spend a lot of time searching for things through Google? There's a new Chrome extension that might interest you if you fit into the 'constantly Googling' category. The extension was unveiled this morning, and it's called 'Voice Search Hotword.'
What Voice Search Hotword Does
Google has taken the popular Moto X hands-free voice search feature and brought that feature to the desktop through the Hotword extension. Does that mean that you can now use your voice to search for something on Google? That's exactly what it means, and this extension is going to make your life so much simpler.
How Voice Search Hotword Works
There are specific commands that you have to tell Google when using this extension (think in-car blutooth-type commands). For example, you can say "Ok, Google" to ask Google to search for something. At that command, Google will begin your search.
Right now, Google's new search extension isn't as accurate as you might want it to be, but it's a real start in the right direction. As far as specifics go, you have to use American English to get Google to understand and listen to your queries. Also, you may not have any luck getting this extension to work if you are outside of the U.S. (just type in Google.com to get the extension to work).
Where to Get the Google Voice Extension
The new Chrome extension is currently available for download in the Chrome Store. I'll warn you that it's not perfect, but it's a fun extension to play around with if you want to check it out. Plus, Chrome is really the first browser to offer this kind of voice option. Now, you can talk to your phone and to your computer - how cool is that?
If you happen to be a researcher or writer, this extension will be really useful - and hopefully better than voice recognition programs on the market. Maybe Google will create some kind of writing program that's voice activated too, wouldn't that be nice? So far, the reviews for Google's new voice extension for Chrome are positive (though some users are slightly critical of this extension - but let Google work out the kinks first).
The Paranoia Side
If you are wary of Google hearing your every thought, this extension probably isn't for you. Will Google be able to target consumers better with this extension? Possibly. Will Google be listening to everything that you do in a day? Not likely. You can see when the extension is activated by looking at the small Chrome icon - the microphone is solid when the extension is listening.
Stepping into the voice future is really interesting, but you do have to realize that companies like Google are in it for the advertising dollars - that's just common sense. Anyone try this extension yet? What did you think? Any luck or interesting stories to tell? Let me know how it goes for you - so far, the extension works well on my end.