Google Chrome Beta Gets Voice Search, and Chrome OS Will Too

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 28, 2014

If you've followed the evolution of speech recognition, you know that it's never been a perfect science, but there have been major improvements in the accuracy of recognition engines recently. That's obviously on Google's radar, because Google has announced that it is bringing its Google Now voice-assist feature to more devices, by delivering the functionality in its latest Chrome Beta version.

To use the feature, you open a new tab or visit Google.com in Chrome, say "Ok Google," and then start speaking your search. This will be rolled out to U.S. users on Windows, Mac and Linux over the next few days, with support for additional languages and Chrome OS coming soon.  Yes, Chrome OS is going to be a deeply voice-driven platform.

To learn more about Voice Search in Chrome, you can visit Google's Help Center Google has been steadily working on Voice Search for some time, and is likely increasing its focus on speech recognition since hiring Ray Kurzweil as head of engineering. Kurzweil is a seasoned veteran in the speech recognition field.

Google's Voice Search isn't perfect, but if you ask the Chrome beta, say, "how many ounces are in a cup," it will give the correct answer. This is worth trying, and may be a big differentiator in comparing Chrome to other browsers such as Firefox. There is no word on when Voice Search will arrive in Chrome OS and on Chromebooks, but it is coming.